Hundreds held after Moscow rocked by race rioting

By Dmitry Zaks (AFP) – 1 hour ago

Moscow — Moscow police were on Monday holding almost 400 people under arrest after the Russian capital was rocked by some of its worst ethnically-fuelled rioting in years, sparked by the killing of an ethnic Russian allegedly by a Muslim migrant from the Caucasus.

An initially peaceful protest in the Biryulyovo district of Moscow to protest the killing of Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, rapidly descended into bloody clashes with the police that left the glass doors of a shopping centre smashed and cars upturned.

The crowd chanted “Russia for Russians!” and other nationalist slogans during a protest that swelled to more than 1,000 people in the industrial district of southern Moscow.

Police said Sunday evening that 380 people had been arrested over the rioting and were being questioned as part of a criminal investigation into hooliganism.

Another 14 nationalists were later arrested on a passenger train leaving the area carrying gas cannisters, police said. Six anti-riot police were injured and two are still in hospital.

Moscow police brought in hundreds of reinforcements in a bid to deal with the crisis and enforced their extreme “Vulkan” operation plan which is used in case of a terror attack.

Shcherbakov was murdered overnight Thursday in the area in front of his girlfriend as they walked out of a billiards club.

Media said that security footage showed his killer was a man of “non-Slavic appearance” from the Northern Caucasus, leading nationalists to conclude the murderer was a Muslim labour migrant.

The mass-circulation Komsomolskaya Pravda daily alleged that a fight had begun between the two men after the killer insulted the girlfriend. Shcherbakov’s friends then put pictures of the suspected killer on their social network accounts in a bid to find him.

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