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14 Jul, 2007 03:01

Crimean Tatars clash with police

Seven policemen were slightly injured after clashes with ethnic Tatars in the town of Sudak in the Ukrainian Crimea. The scuffle broke out after 50 members of the Tatar community tried to block traffic on the road in protest of a continuing land dispute.

Police explained they tried to restore traffic when seven of their officers received minor injuries. Four protestors were detained.

Tensions between ethnic Tatars, Ukrainians and Russians persist in Crimea.

Soviet leader Josef Stalin deported 200,000 Crimean Tatars to Central Asia in 1944, accusing them of collaboration with the Nazis during  World War Two.

Many have returned after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and are now seeking to regain ownership of their property, which results in clashes with other residents.