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Unrest Reported In Russia's Kabardino-Balkaria

Nalchik, Russia; 23 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Reports from the Russian southern republic of Kabardino-Balkaria say clashes erupted today in the regional capital Nalchik between local students and policemen coming from Chechnya.

Human rights campaigner Valerii Khatazhukov told RFE/RL the Chechen policemen fired into the air before being arraigned by local police. No casualties were reported.

Khatazhukov said the unrest originated in a brawl that broke out yesterday between local and Chechen students. The Chechen policemen reportedly arrived in Nalchik from Grozny early today at the request of their countrymen.

Russia's Regnum news agency says ethnic Kabard and Balkar students demonstrated near Nalchik University today to protest against the action of the Chechen policemen. Kabardino-Balkaria's antiriot police dispersed the crowd without violence.

Kabardino-Balkaria's president, Valerii Kokov, resigned a week ago, triggering fierce infighting to succeed him.

(Regnum/Ekho Moskvy)