Buildings evacuated in Moscow after bomb threats — RIA

A police car parked in front of the GUM, State Shop, at Red square in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. (File photo by AP)
Updated 14 September 2017
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Buildings evacuated in Moscow after bomb threats — RIA

MOSCOW: Russian authorities evacuated people from dozens of buildings in Moscow on Wednesday after a flurry of anonymous phone calls asserting the locations had been mined, RIA news agency reported.
Three of Moscow’s main train stations were being checked on Wednesday, along with the city’s famous GUM department store near Red Square, and more than 20 other buildings, the news agency said.
GUM said on its website it was temporarily closed “for technical reasons.” A Reuters TV cameraman said he saw police with sniffer dogs checking the building.
Russia has this week experienced a wave of hoax bomb threats.
Citing an unnamed source in the emergency services, RIA said the hoaxes had so far affected more than 20 Russian towns and cities.
All of the calls had so far turned out to be false alarms. When asked about the matter, a Kremlin spokesman referred reporters to the police.
RIA cited its source as saying that many of the hoax calls may have been made from Ukraine.
Relations between Moscow and Kiev are at a low after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014 and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine rebelled against Kiev’s rule.


Philippine troops clash with remnants of defeated extremist group

Updated 18 June 2018
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Philippine troops clash with remnants of defeated extremist group

  • The military was targetting Abu Dar, who the government believes is the new “emir” of Daesh in Southeast Asia
  • Daesh-inspired militants seized parts of the southern city of Marawi in May 2017, raising concerns about the influence of the extremist group in Southeast Asia

MANILA: Philippine troops have clashed with remnants of a pro-Daesh group that held a southern city for five months last year, the army said on Monday.
Col. Romeo Brawner, the deputy commander of Joint Task Force Marawi, said security forces conducted air and ground assaults in the province of Lanao del Sur on Sunday in a bid to flush out Maute rebels and the group’s new leader.
Brawner said he could not confirm if there had been any casualties in military operations in two towns near Marawi City, which is now undergoing rehabilitation with some residents returning to their homes.
The military was targetting Abu Dar, who the government believes is the new “emir” of Daesh in Southeast Asia, Brawner said. It could not be independently verified if the Daesh has chosen Dar as its new leader in the region.
Daesh-inspired militants seized parts of the southern city of Marawi in May 2017, raising concerns about the influence of the extremist group in Southeast Asia.
The army ended combat operations after wresting control in southern Marawi in October, and has shifted its focus to the island’s marshes where other pro-Daesh militants operate.
The siege of Marawi, the country’s biggest battle since World War Two, displaced some 350,000 residents and more than 1,100 people were killed, mostly militants.
Military and security experts have said militants who escaped from Marawi are recruiting fighters using looted cash, gold and jewelry worth tens of millions of dollars.