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Eight detained after Russian nationalists attack `foreigners`: Police

AFP | Last Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 23:38

Saint Petersburg: Russian police said they had detained eight Russian nationalists for assaulting "foreign-looking" people during a march down a central Saint Petersburg street on Sunday.
Apparent marchers attacked shops and threw stones and smoke-bombs, said local news website fontanka.Ru. Quoting witnesses, it put the number of people held at 16.

One victim suffered an injury to his head, possibly after being beaten with a baseball bat, and was taken away by ambulance, said the website.

Demonstrators roughed up at least two people who did "not look Slav", Itar-Tass news agency quoted another police source as saying.

A police officer told that "eight people were detained for disorderly conduct" during the march that had been joined by about 150 young men and women.

"They attacked passers-by," said one officer.

The march in Russia`s former imperial capital came amid rising xenophobia in Russia targeting mainly migrants from former Soviet republics in the southern Caucasus and Central Asia.

Rights activists have repeatedly warned of a surge in xenophobia, and more and more Russians sympathise with the nationalist cause.

President Vladimir Putin, who has been accused of doing nothing to stop ultra-nationalism, has not publicly commented on riots that erupted on October 13 over the killing several days earlier of a 25-year-old man who was stabbed to death in front of his girlfriend.

The killer fled the scene but police later arrested a suspect from Azerbaijan.

First Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 23:38

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