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Russian police detain 1,200 in Moscow anti-migrant raid

Moscow police said Monday they had detained 1,200 people in an anti-migrant raid on a produce market where a riot took place over the weekend after the killing of an ethnic Russian.

“About 1,200 people have been taken to the police in the course of a raid on a produce market in Biryulyovo to check their criminal connections,” a representative of the Moscow police told AFP.

He said it was a “regular preventive raid” checking connections to “any crimes committed in the region.”

But the spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major cases, said separately that police were conducting “a massive search” for a man said to be of non-Russian ethnicity who last week allegedly killed a young local.

“The investigation has video image of the suspected criminal, and is conducting a massive search operation,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax.

Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, was killed overnight Thursday while walking out of a billiards club with his girlfriend in southern Moscow.

Although the ethnicity of his attacker was never officially confirmed, Russian media said security footage showed a man of “non-Slavic appearance.”

Wholesale produce markets in Moscow are predominantly staffed by migrant workers from mostly Muslim regions of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

On Sunday, the wholesale market in Biryulyovo was ransacked by hundreds of protestors who thought the killer was hiding there.

Police added Monday that they found a car near the market with pistols, knives, and “several million rubles.”