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Monday, 5 November, 2001, 18:09 GMT
Third person dies after Moscow rampage
Moscow outdoor market
Caucasus traders are common in Moscow's markets
A third person has died in Moscow from injuries sustained when gangs rampaged through three city markets last week.

Eighteen-year-old Karam Dzhanmamedov, from Tajikistan, died in a hospital.

Two other men - an Azerbaijani and an Indian - died last week when an estimated 300 skinheads smashed up markets stalls and attacked anyone who appeared to be from the Caucasus region.

Russian police said about 20 people were injured when the violence broke out.

Vladimir Putin
President Putin says tougher action is needed
The cause of the attack is not fully clear, but some reports say the youths attacked traders of Caucasian or Central Asian origin, following a football match.

Many of them wore the swastika-like insignia of the extreme right-wing movement, Russian National Unity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his government ministers to work harder to prevent what he called extremist attacks.

Uneasy co-existence

There has been an increase in such attacks since Russian troops went back into the Caucasus republic of Chechnya in 1999.

Muscovites have long depended on traders from the Caucasus for much of their food.

The bitter irony is that, since the start of the first Chechen War in 1994, very few of the traders are actually from Chechnya.

They come to Moscow from the neighbouring Stavropol region, or the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

The skinheads who went on the rampage ran through the markets wielding iron bars and chanting racist slogans.

When police arrived and fired shots in the air, many of the rioters disappeared into the metro.

The riot was the second of its kind this year.

In April, right-wing youths smashed up another market in southern Moscow on the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler.

People of Caucasian origin often claim that they are not protected by the authorities.

It is common to see darker-skinned people being stopped by the police in Moscow and having their documents checked.

See also:

04 Sep 01 | Europe
Moscow race hate 'on the rise'
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