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Police Raid Fitness Center In Russia's Daghestan

MAKHACHKALA, Russia -- Police in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region of Daghestan have rounded up some 50 patrons of a fitness center in Makhachkala and taken them into custody.

Police said the August 15 detentions were necessary "to identify the men." It is not clear whether the men were released.

Earlier in July, police detained more than 40 patrons of the same fitness club for several hours "in order to identify them." At that time, police justified the measure by the fact that all the men at the club were bearded.

Law-enforcement officials in Daghestan often suspect men with beards of adhering to radical Islamic teachings.

Daghestan has been at the epicenter of a wave of violence by armed criminal groups and by militants seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate in the North Caucasus.

With reporting by