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3 dead, 100 detained in Moscow cemetery brawl

By Marilyn Malara
3 dead, 100 detained in Moscow cemetery brawl
A mass brawl in Moscow's largest cemetery (not pictured) left at least 2 dead and 13 injured. About 50 of at least 200 fighters involved have been detained. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

MOSCOW, May 14 (UPI) -- Three people have died after a massive brawl between ethnic groups at Moscow's largest cemetery broke out Saturday.

Of at least 200 fighters involved in the violence, 100 have been detained by police, according to TASS.

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Two of the victims died after being run over by others who attempted to drive away from the scene when authorities arrived, RT reported. Three people in the car that allegedly ran over the victims have been arrested.

Both local police and Russian National Guard forces arrived on the scene to quell the fighting.

Some reports claim up to 400 people were involved in the conflict at the Khovanskoe cemetery. Fighters wielded guns while others used bats, metal bars and sticks during the brawl.

Witnesses reported a fi15-minute firefight, according to RT.

Between 13 and 29 people were hospitalized as a result of the brawl, which began as a "territorial dispute" over cemetery service jobs. Members of the opposing sides belonged to the ethnic groups from ex-Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus, BBC reported.

The fight took place near the cemetery's main entrance.

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A police officer was not killed during the brawl, debunking earlier reports, BBC clarified.

A spokesman from the Russian Investigative Committee claimed to Russia Beyond The Headlines the two victims died from gunshot wounds. But other sources claim no reports of shooting injuries have come forward.

The scene has now been contained and a criminal investigation is under way.

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