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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Protesters, Police Clash at Ingush Protest Rally

NAZRAN, Ingushetia -- Hundreds of people scuffled with police and threw stones at a rally Wednesday in Ingushetia's main city, Nazran, to protest increasing abductions.

Some 500 people rallied in a central square and blocked a main road to protest the spike in kidnappings, which they blamed on federal and regional military, law enforcement and security forces.

Some held signs reading: "Give us back our children" and called for the resignation of widely unpopular Ingush President Murat Zyazikov.

The kidnapping of two Ingush men in Grozny late Tuesday contributed to tensions. The men, who were on their way home to Ingushetia, were seized by masked gunmen who forced them out of a taxi and bundled them into another car, the Chechen Interior Ministry said, citing the taxi driver.

At the rally, Maksharip Aushev, 41, said he believed his 26-year-old son and 21-year-old nephew were the ones abducted.

He said men in military uniforms abducted his two relatives two months ago and they were held for some period of time before being released. He said that during their captivity they were tortured and interrogated.

"We will stand here until we know the fate of my son and nephew and about the other abductees in Ingushetia. We have nothing to lose," he said.

The protesters starting throwing stones more than five hours into the rally, and one person threw what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail at an armored personnel carrier.

Riot police responded by firing over the heads of protesters to get them to disperse. No injuries were immediately reported.