Russia: Hundreds arrested in Moscow after stabbing 'by migrant' sparks race riots

Police call in reinforcements as hundreds take to the streets following 'ethnic' killing

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of people have been detained in Moscow after riots broke out following the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian man, sparking anger against people from the Caucasus, according reports.

The stabbed man is thought to have been killed by somebody from the North Caucasus region of southern Russia, where the people are predominantly Muslim.

Demonstrators broke into a shopping centre where Caucasus natives are employed, before storming a vegetable warehouse. Caucasus natives work at many vegetable markets around the Russian capital.

The Investigative Committee, Russia's main investigative agency said that the 25-year-old man, named as Yegor Shcherbakov, was killed in a dispute over his girlfriend as the couple returned home on Thursday. Investigators have question witnesses, according to a statement from the agency.

The suspect has not yet been identified. Police have released a photograph of him taken by a security camera.

A live video stream broadcast on Dozhd Television showed the unrest unfolding in Biryulyovo, a working-class district on Moscow's southern tip.

Hundreds of ethnic Russians, some of whom chanted nationalist slogans, were involved in the protests through the industrial district.

A crowd set off from the city's centre and marched through the streets towards the vegetable warehouse. Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin said during a press conference that demonstrators had overturned cars on their journey.

Helmeted riot police blocked their path, but dozens still managed to break into the warehouse. Police said they detained about 200 people at the warehouse.

A police spokesman told Russian media that five officers were injured.

Later in the evening another 100 people were held after demonstrators gathered again outside the same shopping centre and clashed with the police.

The city's police force needed to call for reinforcements in order to quell the violence.

The police has stepped up patrols throughout the city, closing off a square just outside the Kremlin. The efforts are designed to prevent a repeat of the 2010 riots, when thousands of nationalists and football fans protested over the killing of an ethnic Russian during a fight between football fans and Russians from the North Caucasus.