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Thursday, 19 March, 1998, 20:53 GMT
High alert in Moscow for metro gas attack anniversary

Emergency services in Moscow are being placed on a high state of alert from midnight (2100 gmt) tonight after the authorities received an anonymous telephone call threatening a gas attack on the city's underground system, Russian TV6 reported.

The caller said the attack would be staged to mark the third anniversary of the sarin attack on Tokyo's underground by followers of the Aum Shinri Kyo cult, which led to 11 deaths.

"Three power ministries - the police, the Federal Security Service and the Emergencies Ministry - will be guarding Muscovites tomorrow in the capital's metro system," the TV reported.

"The law enforcement bodies in Moscow are prepared for any eventuality.

Despite all the threats, the Moscow metro will work as usual tomorrow." "Moscow Metro police's public relations office, however, is not dramatizing the situation," the TV added.

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


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