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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suspect Detained Stavropol Killings

Stavropol prosecutors said Thursday that they had detained a suspect in the weekend murder of two students that has raised ethnic tensions in the southern city.

The suspect, who was not identified, was detained early Wednesday and fits the description given by witnesses of the man who stabbed the two ethnic Russian students to death Saturday, a prosecutor said, Interfax reported. The prosecutor did not elaborate.

Police earlier said they were looking for a suspect with a Slavic appearance.

Ultranationalists, however, have accused natives of the Caucasus of killing the students to avenge the death of a Chechen student two weeks earlier. About 1,000 people marched in Stavropol on Tuesday night, some demanding that natives of the Caucasus be expelled from the region.

Prosecutors believe the murder suspect took part in the march, which was broken up by police commandoes. More than 50 people were detained.

The number of demonstrators might have been larger, but federal authorities blocked an announcement about the march on a popular blog on LiveJournal.com, said Alexei Mikhailov, a leader of the ultranationalist Movement Against Illegal Immigrants, Reuters reported.

Police have said the Chechen student was killed during a brawl between Russian and Chechen youth, but have repeatedly denied any link between the death and the Saturday murders. No suspects have been detained in the Chechen's death.

A human rights group said Thursday that the Chechen had not been killed in the brawl but had been beaten to death by police. For Human Rights, citing the Chechen's uncle, said in a statement that the victim's wrists bore signs of having been handcuffed and he had other injuries that indicated he had been beaten with a blunt object. The statement, which was accompanied by a photograph of the injuries, said police officers at the brawl had dragged the victim into a police car while he was still alive.