Russia tracks down suspects in flow of fake bomb calls

The head of Russia's top domestic security agency says it has tracked down suspects accused of organizing a series of anonymous, fake bomb threats that have prompted evacuations of shopping malls, schools, hospitals, transport facilities and official buildings across Russia.

Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main KGB successor agency, said Thursday the four suspects are Russian citizens living abroad. He added in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that they had accomplices inside the country.

Bortnikov wouldn't identify the suspects or describe their motives behind the hoax calls.

Bortnikov said the economic damage from massive evacuations topped 300 million rubles ($5.2 million) for just a few days in early September, while the calls continued for weeks after that. Tens of thousands have been evacuated.