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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Detain 11,000 in Massive Security Sweep




Police pressed on Friday with a security sweep that has netted some 11,000 people, including 30 suspected of involvement in the recent wave of bombings.


Chechens and others from the Caucasus region say they're being unfairly singled out for interrogations, harassment, even evictions.


"Every day, we get hauled over to the police stations, some days several times - even those who are officially registered [as living in Moscow]," said Mekhman Guseinov, an Azerbaijani who sells leather jackets and shoes at an outdoor market in central Moscow.


"Half of the people have already sent their families back home. They are afraid maybe [Russians] will rise against some ethnic group," he said.


After reporting a few scattered detentions and arrests over the past few days, Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo announced Friday that more than 11,000 people had been detained.


Of the total, 2,200 people were already on police wanted lists, and 9,000 were suspected of involvement in various crimes, Rushailo said. Police have seized 74 bombs over the past two days alone, he said.


Still, most detainees were picked up for reasons unrelated to the terrorist campaign after police began random stops on the metro, in markets and at apartment buildings to check documents and search for clues in the bombings.


Two more suspects in the bombings have been arrested, authorities said Friday. The suspects were identified as Timur Dakhkilgov, 32, and Bekmars Sautiyev, 40, two relatives originally from Chechnya, Interfax reported.


NTV television reported that traces of hexogen, an explosive powder used in the bombings, were found on Dakhkilgov's hands and in Sautiyev's apartment. Sautiyev said police had planted it, as well as a gun, there. "It's incomprehensible what they [police] are doing, planting weapons on one person, drugs on another. But houses will continue to explode," he told NTV.