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Protesters Call On Bashkir President To Quit

26 February 2005 -- Several thousand people demonstrated in the Ural Mountains today, demanding the resignation of a republican president following a police roundup in December.

Protesters rallied in Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan, to demand the resignation of President Murtaza Rakhimov.

They also called for an outside investigation of the December 10-14 sweep in the city of Blagoveshchensk, when police detained nearly 390 people and jailed 171 for public drunkenness, after residents allegedly beat up members of a police unit.

Following numerous protests and complaints, the city prosecutor, municipal police chief and the republic's riot police commander have lost their jobs.