1 mln affected by phone bomb threats across Russia

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Nearly one million people in over 140 cities across Russia were affected by a massive wave of bomb threat phone calls that started a month ago, Russian media reported Monday.

"Since September 11, calls for 'mining' have been received by 2,340 objects in 144 cities of the country. More than 960,000 people have been evacuated," RIA Novosti news agency quoted a source in emergency services as saying.

On Monday, tens of thousands of people were evacuated from administrative buildings, schools, bus and railway stations, hotels and shopping malls in different Russian cities including Moscow and St. Petersburg, according to various reports.

The peak of the "telephone terrorism" occurred on Friday in Moscow, when more than 250 different buildings were reported to be "mined," Tass news agency said.

So far, all calls were proved to be hoaxes.

Nevertheless, damages caused by the phone call threats have reached up to over 300 million rubles ($5.2 million), according to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).

Investigations have been underway throughout the chaos of fake bomb threats and there were different speculations about the identities of the plotters.

The FSB said last week that the mass phone calls with bomb threats were carried out by four Russian nationals abroad along with their domestic accomplices.

Currently, various Russian security services and law enforcement agencies are working together on tracking down the suspects.

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