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Migration

Russian nationalists riot in Moscow over murder blamed on migrant

Thousands have rioted in Moscow in a nationalist protest sparked by a murder blamed on a migrant. There were hundreds of arrests after windows were smashed and riot police were attacked.

Police arrests hundreds in Moscow clashes

The riot in Moscow's southern Biryulyovo district broke out Sunday over Thursday's killing of a 25-year-old local man stabbed to death as his fiancee watched.

Nationalists threw bottles at special forces who had arrived in 10 buses to quell the riot and ultimately detained about 380 people, according to police.

The crowd, chanting "Russia for Russians," "White Power!" and other racist slogans, also beat down the doors of a nearby vegetable warehouse where many migrants work and where they thought the suspected killer was hiding.

Several hundred residents had protested peacefully, demanding justice over the killing, until a group of young men dressed mainly in black, began smashing windows in a shopping center and briefly set it on fire.

The protesters have demanded more action from law enforcement officials after Thursday night's killing. The murderer fled the scene, but surveillance camera footage suggested he might have come from Central Asia or the Caucasus.

"Every measure will be taken to stop the criminal ... the best investigators have been assigned to the case," district police chief Alexandre Polovinko said at the scene of the riots.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of migrants have come to Russia from other regions of the former Soviet Union, often working as street cleaners or on construction sites. They frequently endure poor labor and living conditions as well as discrimination from ethnic Russians.

President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Russia needed migrant labor in industries such as construction but - in a nod to nationalist sentiment - suggested that the government could restrict employment in other sectors, including trade.

mkg/hc (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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