More than 10,000 people were evacuated from shopping centres, railway stations and universities in Moscow on Wednesday, following "almost simultaneous" warnings that they had been rigged with explosives, RT online reported.
"Twenty sites are currently being evacuated, and more than 10,000 people have been escorted out, though the specific number is still being confirmed," TASS news agency reported.
Emergency services said that specialist units and officers with sniffer dogs were examining the buildings.
Among the locations affected were three of the capital's biggest railway stations, more than a dozen shopping centres -- including GUM, located next to Red Square -- and at least one university, with unconfirmed reports of evacuation at another.
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