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Russia: 1,200 Vietnamese in raid of workshops

July 31, 2013

MOSCOW (AP) — Police in Russia’s capital say they have detained 1,200 Vietnamese who are in the country illegally during a pre-dawn raid on a complex of small workshops.

A statement from the Interior Ministry said the Wednesday operation found workers and their families living in unsanitary conditions.

The Emergencies Ministry is building a tent camp and field kitchen to house and feed the detainees while deportation hearings proceed, a spokesman for the ministry’s Moscow division, Viktor Biryukov, was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency.

The detentions follow a series of sweeps of Moscow markets where hundreds of people were detained on suspicion of being in the country illegally.

Those raids followed a weekend clash at a Moscow market in which a crowd attacked police who were trying to arrest a suspected sex offender. One policeman suffered a fractured skull.

Police say the raids are aimed at stifling crime in Moscow’s markets, where many workers are migrants.