Police arrest suspect believed to have sparked anti-migrant riots

Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:24 PM
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MOSCOW, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The man suspected in the stabbing death that sparked violent anti-migrant protests in Moscow during the weekend was in police custody Tuesday, officials said.

A police spokesman said the suspect, identified as Orkhan Zeinalov, was apprehended by police special forces in Kolomna, about 75 miles southwest of Moscow, and transported to the Russian capital by helicopter, RIA Novosti said.

Russia's Investigative Committee had identified Zeinalov as a 30-year-old citizen of Azerbaijan who has been a gypsy cab driver in Moscow since 2003.

Officials said Tuesday at least two people were facing charges of hooliganism for their alleged involvement in the anti-migrant riots that targeted a vegetable warehouse in the city's southern neighborhood.

Police Chief Anatoly Yakunin said authorities were deciding whether to keep the suspects in custody. So far, authorities have offered no information about what roles the suspects may have had in the weekend unrest, which injured dozens, including six police officers.

Deputy city police chief Oleg Baranov said earlier Tuesday three people faced hooliganism charges.

Hundreds of people were detained by police overnight Sunday into Monday in response to the violence that erupted in the Biryulyovo neighborhood after protests over the fatal stabbing of 25-year-old Yegor Shcherbakov devolved.

RIA Novosti said about 70 people so far have been charged with minor administrative offenses and 23 people were ordered to pay fines.

On Monday, more than a thousand people were detained, most of them reportedly labor migrants based in or around Biryulyovo, RIA Novosti said. The reason for the round-up was not immediately known.

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