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25 Apr, 2009 17:40

19 detained for shooting in Moscow centre

Nineteen people – apparent Chechen and Ingush nationals – have been detained in Moscow for an attempt to block a centre street with their cars and for shooting non-lethal weapons.

The incident happened around 5pm on Saturday.

Citing a source in the Internal Affairs Department, RIA reports that several vehicles with Chechen and Ingush national flags, violating traffic rules, drove onto one of Moscow’s central streets and began sporadic firing of pistols.

Police used cars to set up roadblocks, but the suspects attempted to ram police vehicles and shot at them.

Later, the offenders – drivers and passengers – were detained and taken to a police station. In total, 19 people have been arrested, among them two Chechen nationals and 17 citizens of Russia’s north Caucasian republic of Ingushetia.

Two pneumatic pistols were seized by police.

Now police are trying to determine why the incident occurred.