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Russian Police Arrest Khimki Forest Demonstrators

Khimki Forest Protest
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WATCH: Environmental activists trying to stop the clearing of Khimki Forest face off with private security forces.

Police in a Moscow suburb have arrested about 25 people taking part in a demonstration against building a highway through an old-growth forest.

The ITAR-TASS news agency quotes Moscow regional police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev as saying the demonstrators were arrested after disobeying orders to disperse.

The opposition party Yabloko said in a statement that police beat many of the demonstrators.

The campaign "Movement in Defense of Khimki Forest" has secured considerable public support.

A petition to reroute highway project -- which would cut through the forest in order to link Moscow and St. Petersburg -- has drawn over 20,000 signatures.

compiled from agency reports