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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Apprehend Kurdish Refugees

Moscow police briefly arrested 95 Kurdish refugees Thursday night at Pushkin Square, police said Friday.


Vladimir Vershkov, spokesman for the city police, said an OMON trooper fired three gunshots in the air as a warning to one of the refugees who pulled a knife and slashed the soldier on his finger.


"It was a routine raid in the course of the state-of-emergency regime", the spokesman said.


According to Vershkov, 95 Kurds were loaded in a police bus and taken to the local police station No. 108 for a document checkup.


Shamil Sagdeyev, chief of police station No. 108, said only four of the Kurds detained had proper documentation. "All of them were released to get home before the curfew started", after being fined 3, 870 rubles ($3. 50), he added.


According to Sagdeyev, most of the Kurdish refugees have fled civil unrest in Iraq, Iran and Turkey, and come to Moscow via Kazakhstan and other Asian republics hoping to move on to Western countries.


"They arrested us, searched, checked the documents and let us go", said Sirus Sibabi, 36, a Kurdish refugee from Iran. "I spent a month in Moscow and want to go to a Western country like Sweden or Denmark".