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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Teenagers Detained in Tajik Deaths

Police have arrested two teenagers suspected of beating two men from Tajikistan to death and injuring another in what city prosecutors believe may have been a hate crime.

The bodies of two Tajik citizens, with fatal head injuries, were found on Kharkovsky Pereulok in southern Moscow early Sunday, and another suspected victim of the same attack was hospitalized, Interfax reported, citing city prosecutors.

All three worked in the local Pokrovsky market.

The two suspects, aged 17 and 19, were detained shortly after the bodies were discovered and admitted to beating the men to death, a law enforcement source said Monday, Interfax reported Monday.

The suspects, who were not identified, are students at a Moscow service industry college, Interfax reported.

Prosecutors said the deaths might have been the result of a hate crime.

There are currently around 70,000 skinheads in Russia, up from 50,000 two years ago, Alexander Brod, head of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, told reporters Monday.

"In large cities attacks happen almost daily and murders almost weekly," Brod said. "This shows that the activity of skinheads is increasing and their crimes are becoming more aggressive."

Last year, 53 people were killed and 460 others injured in apparent hate crimes in Russia, according to the Sova human rights center, which monitors xenophobia.

Police and prosecutors could not immediately be reached for comment.

The country has seen a marked rise in xenophobia and racism in recent years, with numerous of attacks on foreigners -- many of them from the former Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus -- as well as members of ethnic minorities within Russia and Jews.

A small bomb exploded in a synagogue in the Volga River city of Saratov early Sunday, causing minor damage to the building, RIA-Novosti and Interfax reported, citing Jewish community leaders. Nobody was hurt. (MT, AP)