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One killed in interethnic brawl in northwestern Russia

PETROZAVODSK, March 9 (RIA Novosti) - One man was killed in a brawl between locals and migrants from the Caucasus in northwestern Russia in the early hours of Friday, local police said.

A 19-year-old local man was stabbed in the throat in a fight over a girl following a dance party in the village of Kuitezha in the Republic of Karelia. He died before an ambulance arrived, police said.

The suspects, who fled the scene in a car, were seized within an hour of the killing.

Police said they were taking measures to deter racial violence similar to a wave of protests and rioting that followed a restaurant brawl with Chechens in the Karelian town of Kondopoga last September, in which two local residents were killed and five others injured.

A total of 109 people were detained in the city on suspicion of involvement in rioting and arson attacks following the murders, and 25 rioters were later charged. At the time, the local community accused authorities of failing to protect them or safeguard their interests, and of taking bribes from criminal immigrant groups.

The incident also sparked a wave of nationalist protests elsewhere in the country, prompting the Russian government to pass a restrictive immigration law in late 2006.

Police said the fight in the village was not racially motivated, but given developments in Kondopoga, the local police force was being reinforced to mediate between villagers and Caucasus migrants.

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