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Russian ethnic riots: Hundreds arrested in Moscow

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Russian ethnic riots: Hundreds arrested in Moscow

Post by momopi » December 15th, 2010, 8:16 pm

15 December 2010 Last updated at 13:23 ET

Russian ethnic riots: Hundreds arrested in Moscow
A police presence has been stepped up all over central Moscow

Hundreds of people have been arrested in central Moscow in an attempt to prevent further ethnic clashes over the shooting of a football fan, police say.

The arrests came as groups of youths, many shouting nationalist slogans, gathered near a Moscow train station.

The death of a Moscow Spartak fan, allegedly in a fight with North Caucasians, has prompted riots and attacks targeting ethnic minorities.

Dozens more people were reportedly detained in other Russian cities.

Police in St Petersburg held 60 people and another 100 were arrested in Samara, according to Interfax news agency.

Estimates of the numbers arrested in Moscow ranged from 800 to 1,200.

Moscow city police spokesman Vitkor Biryukov told Interfax that most of the arrests were at the city's Kievsky railway station.

"We have confiscated several air guns, knives, clubs and and stun guns," he said, adding that there had been no serious incidents in the city and that the most aggressive elements among the youths had been removed from the scene.

There were also arrests in St Petersburg
Police patrols

Reports say about 300 youths have gathered around a shopping mall near the station, forcing it to close, and others have been trying to block a nearby road.

Many have been shouting slogans such as "Russia forward" or "Russia for the Russians".

Police patrols have been stepped up throughout central Moscow, and huge traffic jams have been reported.

A police source told Interfax the heavy police presence would continue deep into the night.

On Saturday, thousands of people clashed with police outside the Kremlin over the shooting of Mr Sviridov.

Police have promised to complete an investigation into Mr Sviridov's death.

Aslan Cherkessov, 26, from the Kabardino-Balkaria region in the Caucasus, has been formally accused of the murder by a Moscow district court and placed in custody until 6 February.

While ethnic minorities complain of continuing discrimination in Russia, some ethnic Russians accuse the authorities of trying to play down hate crimes against Russians.

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