TBILISI, DFWatch–Thursday there were three more false bomb reports in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. Two TV buildings and Tbilisi international airport were evacuated, but no bombs were found.
A number of flights were postponed because of the evacuation of the airport.
The bomb scare started with a caller claiming that there was a bomb in the studio building of Rustavi 2 TV earlier on Thursday. Bomb experts searched the building, but no bomb was discovered. It remained evacuated for several hours.
Next, a caller claimed there was a bomb in the building of Imedi TV. This also led to a full evacuation, but no explosives were found there either.
Police detained two suspects. The first suspect is a man born in 1974. Police say he placed a call at 10:28 to Interior Ministry’s call center 112 to report about a bomb in the Rustavi 2 building. He was detained a few hours after the call, suspected of making a false terrorism report. According to the ministry, the suspect admits that he committed the crime, violating section 331 of the criminal code.
The second call took place at 13:35, also to the emergency number 112, about a bomb in the Imedi TV building. Police detained the suspect after a few hours.
Later in the evening, at 20:00 Thursday, a third call was made to 112, reporting a bomb in the airport. The building was evacuated and several flights were postponed. No bomb was discovered at the airport either.
Flights to China and Kazakhstan were postponed several hours, while passengers who had just arrived from abroad were kept waiting as long as the evacuation lasted.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs on Thursday said in a statement that it will introduce tougher sentences for false reports of terrorism. The statement reads that frequent false reports causes a lot of stress and financial loss for the state and private organizations.
The ministry will present a draft of amendments to section 331 of the criminal code. As some of the detainees were minors, the ministry plans to define punishment and sanctions for parents of violators. Today’s legislation doesn’t define punishment for minors in case of false reports.