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Russian Conscripts From Daghestani Hunger Strike

ALEISK, Russia -- Some 44 new recruits in a military unit in the Russian city of Aleisk have launched a hunger strike in response to clashes with other recruits and allegations that they are being treated unfairly, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

All the hunger strikers are from Russia's southern republic of Daghestan.

They allege that their rights were infringed when they were transferred to a different military unit.

They are demanding a meeting with their relatives and representatives of the "Soldiers' Mothers" committee.

The hunger strike was announced after ethnic tensions erupted into fighting earlier the same day.

An investigation is under way, according to military prosecutors, and the Daghestanis at the center of the dispute have reportedly been transferred to separate units.

The Siberian region's military prosecutor has already suggested that the Daghestani conscripts were responsible for the troubles, accusing them of trying to establish their own rules within the unit.