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Estonia to relocate Soviet-era WWII memorial

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Estonia will relocate a Soviet-era WWII memorial to a military cemetery after its removal in the center of Tallinn sparked clashes between protesters and police, the Estonian defense minister said Sunday.
TALLINN, April 29 (RIA Novosti) - Estonia will relocate a Soviet-era WWII memorial to a military cemetery after its removal in the center of Tallinn sparked clashes between protesters and police, the Estonian defense minister said Sunday.

There were violent clashes between protesters and police as crowds gathered in Tallinn after Estonian police cordoned off the area around the Soviet World War II memorial, which was dismantled and removed early Friday. As a result of the clashes in the central streets of Tallinn, one man aged 19-20 died, 60 injured, and over 500 detained. The deceased was a Russian national.

"The monument is in good condition and was not damaged during transportation," Jaak Aviksoo said, adding that the memorial will be installed at the military cemetery by May 8 when Europe celebrates victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Apart from the 13 soldiers buried in 1947 under the Bronze Soldier, about 50,000 Soviet soldiers are believed to be buried in 450 WWII burials across Estonia.

Estonia has said the Bronze Soldier and other Soviet monuments - rallying points for ethnic Russians and places of their clashes with Estonian nationalists - "divide society," and the central square is not a proper burial place.

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