Three killed, 29 injured as migrants in mass brawl in Moscow cemetery

May 15, 2016 7:30 am

Police investigators work on the site of a brawl at the Khovanskoye cemetery in in , . Photo / AP

At least three people were killed when a mass brawl involving hundreds of men broke out at a Moscow cemetery.
“At the moment, we have 26 injured and three dead,” Interfax agency said, quoting a spokesman for Moscow’s health department.
Twenty-three people were hospitalised, four of them with serious injuries, the official said.
An Interior Ministry spokesman, cited by Interfax, said 90 people had been arrested after the fighting.
Footage shown on the TV news channel LifeNews showed dozens of men armed with staves or steel bars in running battles inside the cemetery and at its entrance while gunshots could be heard.
Russia’s Interior Ministry said the fight, including firearms, appeared to have been sparked by a dispute over who had the right to work on the cemetery, a massive 200ha site on Moscow’s southwestern rim.

Two of the victims were Tajikistan nationals, according to Karomat Sharipov,a representative of the Tajik diaspora.Reports said the fight at the Khovanskoye cemetery involved 200 immigrants from former Soviet Central Asia and residents from Russia’s volatile North Caucasus.
“These were Tajik citizens who have worked in Russia for over 20 years,” Sharipov told Interfax.
“Organised gang members came, they demanded that they give them 20 per cent of their income,” and the fighting started when the Tajik workers refused to do so, added Sharipov, head of the Tajik Migrant Workers group.

A mass brawl among illegal migrant gangs and locals at a cemetery in Moscow has left three people dead and 29 others hospitalized.
Nearly 200 men got engaged in the scuffle at the Khovanskoye Cemetery on Saturday with migrant workers from former Soviet republics reportedly armed with bats, sticks, metal bars and even Kalashnikov rifles, Russian news outlets reported.
Police officers and 200 Special Forces from the newly-established Russian National Guard forces were deployed to deal with the bloody clash at the cemetery in a southwestern suburb of Moscow.
About 100 people have so far been detained in connection to the brawl, which involved between 200 and 400 participants.
Four of those wounded are said to be in critical condition.
Most of those engaged in the fighting were reportedly illegal foreign migrants, and none of involved included registered employees of the cemetery.   
According to the Cemetery’s authorities, “several diasporas” took part in the armed scuffle, including people from the Central Asia’s former Soviet Republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, who were allegedly attacked by citizens of Chechnya and Dagestan from the North Caucasus.
The Chechen gang was apparently bent on chasing illegal Tajik and Uzbek migrant workers from the territory in a bid to establish their own business of providing services for the cemetery, which is reportedly a very lucrative enterprise.
“They came and told us, ‘You’d be working for us’. You’ll give us the whole sum, and we’ll give you back 10 percent. We didn’t agree, so they arrived, all armed, about 100 people, and shot people dead, just for that money,” said one of the injured migrants.
Yet, an Interfax report gave a slightly different account of the the incident, putting the blame on the migrants.
“A group of people, reportedly natives of the North Caucasus, arrived at the cemetery in 15 cars. They were met by migrants who worked there – privately hired by families of deceased people. The migrants were armed with shovels and crowbars. When the invaders realized they were outnumbered, they attempted to flee, shooting from car windows. The migrants then blocked off roads and the clashes began,” it read.
It added that as three of the suspects attempted to flee the scene in a car, they reportedly ran over and killed two of them.
According to cemetery employee, the assailants “entered from all sides and beat everyone up and shot at cars, right in front of the clients” during the attack, which he said had been “planned long ago.”
Head of Moscow’s Trade and Services Department Aleksey Nemeryuk said later that the cemetery’s director was dismissed following the incident, further noting that action would be taken against a private security firm tasked with maintaining order at the cemetery.
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