Anti-Jewish rioters detained in Russian Muslim-majority region (VIDEO)
Police in Russia’s Muslim-majority region of Dagestan have arrested multiple rioters who stormed the runway at an airport in the regional capital searching for “Jewish refugees” arriving on a flight from Israel. Local authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the incident.
Scores of men, some holding Palestinian flags, entered the airport in Makhachkala on Sunday evening as a Red Wings flight from Tel Aviv touched down. Members of the mob filmed themselves searching the airport terminal and questioning arriving passengers to determine whether they were Jewish.
A group of rioters managed to bypass security and access the flight ramp where the plane from Tel Aviv was parked with its passengers still inside. Video footage shot from an adjacent plane showed groups of police officers wrestling rioters to the asphalt and handcuffing them.
The incident led to the closure of Makhachkala airport and the diversion of incoming flights to other airfields.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that it expects “Russian law enforcement to maintain the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews and to act with determination against rioters and wild incitement,” adding that “Israel takes a grave view of attempts to harm Israeli citizens and Jews anywhere.”
The local branch of the Russian Interior Ministry announced that a criminal probe into the riot has already been launched, warning that individuals who made hateful racially and religiously charged public remarks could face prosecution.
The mob assembled after reading reports of the flight’s arrival on the Telegram channel Dagestan Morning, which was previously exposed as having been set up by Ukrainian intelligence services specifically to stir unrest in Russia. Dagestan’s regional head, Sergey Melikov, addressed the issue earlier on Sunday, urging the public not to fall for baseless rumors spread “by the enemies of Russia.”