ROSTOV-ON-DON (REUTERS) - Police in the World Cup host city of Rostov-on-Don said on Wednesday (June 27) they had evacuated 16 venues, including hotels and restaurants, as part of a drill.
One of the venues, the Topos Congress-Hotel, was evacuated due to a suspected bomb threat, police earlier told Reuters.
The hotel is listed as an official World Cup hotel by football's world governing body Fifa, but no competing teams are staying there, according to a Fifa document.
A Reuters witness said they were told by police that the hotel had been evacuated due to a bomb threat.
At least one fire truck was outside the hotel, the witness said, and police were seen questioning staff and guests on the street.
Russia, increasingly isolated on the world stage, is keen to use the World Cup to project an image of stability and strength in the country.
Authorities have vowed to host a safe event and any security incidents involving fans could jeopardise Russia’s efforts.
The southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don has so far hosted four matches in the World Cup, including Croatia’s 2-1 win over Iceland earlier on Tuesday.
The next scheduled match at the venue is on July 2.