Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Nearly a dozen shopping malls in Russia were evacuated Wednesday due to a string of bomb threats, authorities said.
Police said thousands were evacuated from at least 10 Moscow malls after the threats were phoned in by anonymous callers. Emergency officials said the calls came from outside Russia.
Police said seven malls were initially threatened, followed by three more. Other reports said 12 were targeted.
"Operative services have received reports of bomb threats in more than 10 shopping malls, a source told state-run news agency TASS. "Several thousand people were evacuated from the buildings."
Police dogs were sent in to search the shopping centers and try and detect traces of explosives. None were found, officials said.
A similar spate of bomb threats in September 2017 led to the evacuations of 2.5 million people in 180 Russian cities. No bombs were found in those incidents.
Wednesday's threats are the latest trouble to occur in Russian shopping districts. In March, 64 people died in a mall fire in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, but some complained the incident was largely ignored by national state-run news outlets because it was considered "bad news."
In April, one person died in a fire in another Moscow shopping center. Hundreds were evacuated.
A fire that started in a basement storage room of Moscow's Sindika shopping center a year ago forced 3,000 to evacuate.