MOSCOW -- The stabbing death of an ethnic Russian man has ignited anger in Moscow against people from the Caucasus, with demonstrators breaking into a shopping center and storming a vegetable warehouse Sunday evening. Police detained hundreds of people.
A native of the North Caucasus, a region in southern Russia, is believed to have killed the 25-year-old man. Caucasus natives, most of whom are dark-complexioned and Muslim, work in the shopping center and at vegetable markets in the Russian capital.
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The Investigative Committee, Russia's main investigative agency, said in a statement that the man was killed in a dispute over his girlfriend as the couple returned home on Thursday. Investigators have questioned witnesses, the statement said. Police released a photograph of the suspect taken by a security camera, but he has not been identified.
Video streamed live on Dozhd television showed the unrest in Biryulyovo, a working-class district in far southern Moscow. Hundreds of ethnic Russians were involved in the protests, and some of them chanted nationalist slogans.
The city police department called up additional forces to try to quell the violence. Police also moved to close off a square just outside the Kremlin to prevent a repeat of 2010 riots, when thousands of nationalists and soccer fans protested the killing of an ethnic Russian during a fight between soccer fans and natives of the North Caucasus.
Riot police detained several people at the shopping center. Citing police, the Interfax news agency reported that demonstrators then threw bottles and trash at the officers to demand the release of those detained.
Hundreds of people then set off for the vegetable warehouse. Helmeted riot police blocked their path, but dozens still managed to break into the warehouse.
The Gazeta.ru news portal said two police buses filled with detained demonstrators were seen leaving the site of the warehouse. The state news agency RIA Novosti said police detained 200 people for violating public order.