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Russian Police Prevent Nationalist Rally, Detain 20

© RIA Novosti . Igor Russak / Go to the photo bankPolice detained 20 people at the nationalist rally
Police detained 20 people at the nationalist rally - Sputnik International
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Police in St. Petersburg said that a nationalist rally was prevented after more than 20 people were detained on Saturday.

ST. PETERSBURG, September 21 (RIA Novosti) – Police in St. Petersburg said that a nationalist rally was prevented after more than 20 people were detained on Saturday.

The men “did not follow repeated orders of police officers,” a local police representative told RIA Novosti.

The rally followed Saturday’s shootout in which two local men were wounded and hospitalized, police said.

The NTV television channel reported that the shootout was triggered by a massive fight between two groups of young men.

Ultra-nationalist activist Nikolai Bondarik claimed the shooters were Muslim natives of Russia’s North Caucasus who provoked the violence and yelled “Allah Akbar!” (Allah is great).

He announced the rally against “ethnic terror” in a message on a Russian social networking website and said it was supposed to start at 6 p.m. local time in the southeastern Nevsky district of Russia’s second-largest city.

Russian nationalists, including openly neo-Nazi groups, are actively opposed to the presence of predominantly Muslim natives of Russia’s North Caucasus region and ex-Soviet Central Asia in central Russia.

Massive migration of non-Slavic people to Russia has triggered xenophobia and hate attacks in recent years.

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