271 people detained in St. Petersburg security raid
Russian security officials in St. Petersburg detained 271 people, mostly from Central Asia and the North Caucasus region, during a Friday raid on Muslim prayer rooms at a central market. They said the raid was conducted to check residency permits and to eliminate networks of religious extremists planning terrorist attacks.
A statement published by the regional investigative committee said officials were verifying the documents of the detainees, who include citizens of Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as an Egyptian and an Afghan.
Russia's migration service began deportation procedures on Saturday for 10 of the detainees, and about 30 were found to be in violation of Russian migration laws.
The police said a man from southern Russia, Murat Sarbashev, was suspected of distributing extremist literature and video clips showing terrorist acts in 2010 and 2011.
Video footage broadcast on Russian television showed heavily armed riot police officers pulling men out of the market and shoving them into waiting buses.
Security officials in St. Petersburg say an extremist group is operating in the city and has been planning terrorist attacks. The raid was expected to reveal “extremist literature, weapons, objects and documents relevant to criminal cases, and people who have carried out such crimes."
Posted by: ryuge