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Moscow Detains 25 in Race Attack

October 31, 2001

MOSCOW (AP) _ Police have detained 25 people for a racist rampage by hundreds of youths in a Moscow market that left two vendors dead, officials said Wednesday.

About 300 young people stormed a Moscow market on Tuesday night, attacking dark-skinned vendors from the Caucasus region.

Police said vendors Vardan Kulidzanyan, 37, and Kumar Sarma Provid, 35, were killed, and 22 other people injured in the riot.

Moscow city prosecutor Mikhail Avdyukov set up a special headquarters to ``investigate the murders and identify those who organized and inspired the criminal action,″ a spokesman said, according to Interfax news agency.

The prosecutor’s office gave no further information about those detained or what charges they face.

It was unclear what prompted the attack, which occurred at a market outside the Tsaritsino metro station in southern Moscow. Interfax said it was organized by members of the ultranationalist Russian National Unity party.

The RTR television network said some of the attackers chanted slogans supporting Moscow’s Lokomotiv soccer team, which beat Real Madrid in a match in the Russian capital Tuesday night.

The youths were shown on Russian television, dressed in black and many with shaved heads.

Moscow sees occasional racist attacks on people from the Caucasus region, which includes breakaway Chechnya, but deaths in such assaults are rare.

Update hourly