Three Budapest Shopping Malls Evacuated after Bomb Threats

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Three of Budapest's largest shopping malls were evacuated Thursday after police received a warning phone message saying bombs had been planted there, officials said.

"The Budapest Police Headquarters received a phone call at 9:20am warning of bombs going off (in the three malls) at 4pm. Police forces have immediately launched intensive investigations," Interior Minister Monika Lamperth said.

Explosives experts searched the three shopping malls and hundreds of people were evacuated, but the search revealed no traces of explosives, Lamperth said.

Two of the malls - Arkad and WestEnd - were in Pest, while the third - Mammut - was on the Buda side of the city split by the Danube River.

"Investigations so far have not revealed the slightest indication that the bomb threats could be in any way related to the events in London," Prime Minister Gyurcsany told a press conference.

National Police Chief Laszlo Bene earlier Thursday ordered increased security at shopping malls, at the international airport, on the public transport network and other public areas in the wake of the attacks in London.

The prime minister condemned the series of blasts in London, saying they were vile and despicable acts of violence.