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Emailed bomb threats trigger evacuation of over 10 agencies in Siberia's Tomsk

Wave of emailed bomb threats across Siberia have been confirmed as a hoax

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. /TASS/. About ten institutions were evacuated on Monday in Tomsk, Siberia, after receiving email bomb threats, a source from the regional government has told TASS, adding that the bomb threats targeted mainly local courts and administrative buildings.

"More than ten reports had come, after which the Tomsk regional court, the garrison court, the Tomsk department for education and the Leninsky district administration were evacuated among others," the source said.

The press service of the regional administration said the bomb alerts had been emailed. "The Tomsk region administration, as well as the regional offices of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Interior Ministry of Russia, are in full control of the situation in connection with hoaxes," the press service said citing Deputy Governor Igor Tolstonosov.

"A wave of such provocations has already swept several regions of the country. Regional FSB and Interior Ministry offices look into each report, taking all necessary measures. There is no reason for panic, the situation is under full control and work is underway to identify the masterminds of the provocations," the press service cited the deputy governor in charge of security issues.

Massive email bomb threats sent to schools and hospitals as well as business centers and administration buildings in the Siberian Federal District on Monday morning have been confirmed as hoax.

The first reports about bomb threats were sent to 29 schools in the Altai Region’s Barnaul. A total of 40 such threats were received in the city and several nearby villages. Similar threats were sent to hospitals in Novosibirsk, West Siberia, and later to schools and business centers, prompting evacuation. Social facilities in Krasnoyarsk were also alerted by about 15 bomb threats.

"The messages are similar to the 2017 scheme [mass evacuation from shopping malls in Siberia after anonymous calls] but this time the messages from foreign servers are sent to the organizations’ emails," a source in Krasnoyarsk’s law enforcement agencies told TASS.

The most massive evacuations were carried out in the Khakassia Republic’s capital of Abakan, where bomb threats were sent to 19 schools, children’ hospital, the Agriculture Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry and also the Europa shopping mall, where 7,873 people were evacuated.