Stabbing death renews anti-immigrant violence in central Russia

Dec. 10, 2013 at 1:36 PM

MOSCOW, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The murder of a Russian man in central Russia has sparked days of ethnic violence that resulted in damaged storefronts and destroyed property, officials say.

The riots in Asama's, a town in Russia's Youzhny Novgorod region, began after a 26-year-old man was stabbed to death in a street fight outside a cafe early Saturday, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

Local reports blamed the death on foreign immigrants from Armenia. Police have arrested three suspects whose identities or ethnicity's have not been revealed.

Protests that began Saturday after the stabbing with about 50 people grew to about 1,000 by Monday, with crowds shattering shop windows and shouting nationalist slogans.

About 70 people had been arrested by Monday night.

The disturbance is the latest of a series of incidents in which nationalist fervor was stirred after a member of an ethnic minority was accused of a crime.

Nationalists accuse internal migrants from the Caucasus and foreign migrants from former Soviet republics of being disproportionately involved in crime, while foreign migrants say they face harassment from police and prejudice from local residents.

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