Boy, 14, suspected of Moscow racist murder: official

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Three teenagers, including a boy aged just 14, are suspected of the apparently racist murder of a Kyrgyz citizen in Moscow at the weekend, Russian investigators said Thursday.

The Kyrgyz man was stabbed to death on Sunday, just a day after some 5,000 ultra-nationalists joined football fans in a racism-tinged riot in central Moscow that raised inter-ethnic tensions in the Russian capital.

"Three teenagers have been identified who are being investigated over their involvement in the crime," the investigative committee of prosecutors said in a statement.

"A 14-year-old teenager has been arrested as a suspect," it said, adding that the question over the arrest of the other two was currently being decided.

The involvement of teenage gangs in racist murders has repeatedly shocked post-Soviet Russia in the last years but it is rare that a boy so young is involved.

Saturday's rally was initially called to protest the police handling of the killing of a Spartak Moscow football fan by a man from Russia's North Caucasus region but rapidly degenerated into a racist riot.

The three youths arrested are part of a Spartak Moscow fan group and linked to a movement of far-right extremists, a security source told the Interfax news agency.

The 14-year-old suspect has already confessed to the crime, the source said. He is a college pupil but also a die-hard Spartak fan who goes by the nickname of "Scout".

Another of the suspected teens is a pupil at a Moscow school known by the name of "Grizzly" within the Moscow racist scene, while the third is a university student and Spartak fan known as "Hector".

© 2010 AFP

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