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Moscow faces 300 bomb threats, up to 50,000 evacuated

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A Russian police officer with a dog walk inside the store GUM, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Moscow on Tuesday faced dozens of fake bomb calls that prompted authorities to evacuate shopping malls, schools and other buildings. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian news reports say that a flurry of fake bomb calls has prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands.

The Interfax news agency said the city's emergency services received nearly 300 bomb threats Tuesday, resulting in the evacuation of about 50,000 people. The state RIA Novosti news agency said 130 venues were targeted with bomb hoaxes.

No explosives have been found.

The spate of fake bomb threats has engulfed Russia in recent days, prompting evacuations of shopping malls, schools and official buildings across the country.

A similar series of fake bomb calls plagued Russia in 2017, inflicting major economic damage. Some Russian media claimed then that the calls might have been launched from neighboring Ukraine, which has been locked in a tug-of-war with Russia after its annexation of Crimea.

A Russian police officer with a dog walk inside the store GUM, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Moscow on Tuesday faced dozens of fake bomb calls that prompted authorities to evacuate shopping malls, schools and other buildings. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
A Russian police officer with a dog walk inside the store GUM, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Moscow on Tuesday faced dozens of fake bomb calls that prompted authorities to evacuate shopping malls, schools and other buildings. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)