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Investigators Probe Ethnic Tensions

The Investigative Committee has taken over from police an inquiry into a clash between North Caucasus natives and ethnic Slavs in a Leningrad region village.

The incident, which took place on Russia Day, June 12, saw North Caucasus natives open sporadic fire with air guns at a crowd in the village of Kobralovo after a Dagestani native was beaten in the street hours earlier, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported last week.

At least 20 people were hospitalized, Rosbalt.ru reported, adding that ambulances formed a "traffic jam" outside the local hospital.

Police have opened a case on hooliganism charges but ruled out ethnic motives in the Dagestani's beating, calling it a "personal conflict," RIA-Novosti reported.

But local residents accused police of ignoring the reaction of the North Caucasus natives and trying to cover it up, which prompted the Investigative Committee to take over the case, the committee said on its web site Thursday.

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