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21 April 2024

Russia detains 300 Muslims in terror probe


Russian police detained nearly 300 Muslims from several countries in Saint Petersburg as part of a probe into suspected calls to terrorism, investigators said on Saturday.

They said in a statement that "271 people including citizens of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, nationals of Russia's North Caucasus and an Egyptian and an Afghani were detained to verify their suspected involvement in terrorist activity".

The Federal Security Service (FSB) and police carried out the operation on Friday in the Apraskine Dvor central market where Muslims are known to work and pray.

The authorities did not say whether they had released the people, but immigration officials said Saturday that 10 of them would be deported, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

One of those detained, 25-year-old Murat Sarbashev from the Caucasian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, is suspected of posting extremist literature and videos of terrorist acts on the Internet, the investigators said.

They added that all 271 were detained as part of an investigation into "calls for terrorist acts" and "incitement to hatred", without elaborating.

FSB spokesman Dmitri Kochetkov said they recovered extremist literature at the market.