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Cops, United Russia Linked to Brawl

Low-ranking police officers and a martial arts master who worked for United Russia joined a group of 30 people in attacking a Sverdlovsk region village whose residents wanted to expel a suspected drug dealer last month, leading anti-drugs activist Yevgeny Roizman said.

Roizman only identified one police officer, Shamil Adburashidov, but said all of them were graduates of local colleges who worked in various police precincts in Yekaterinburg, local news web site Ura.ru reported Monday.

Another alleged attacker, Kardash Fatakhov, was a driver for the regional branch of United Russia and used a party-owned Toyota Camry sedan for the trip to the village of Sagra, Roizman said, adding that Fatakhov had won several national championships in martial art pankration.

Photos of Fatakhov found by Roizman's supporters on the Odnoklassniki social network show a gaunt semi-naked man in a combat-ready pose. One picture depicts him in a T-shirt with the words "Dagestan" and "bespredel," an untranslatable Russian concept with connotations of "mayhem" and "injustice."

An United Russia spokesman told Ura.ru that Fatakhov had held the job for three months and was fired after the incident.

The suspects have not commented on the report. Regional police denied involvement, Lenta.ru reported.

The incident in Sagra took place on July 1, soon after residents attempted to kick out an alleged Gypsy drug dealer.

A group of some 30 people, most of them Caucasus natives, arrived in Sagra to protect the Gypsy, who later turned out to have been on the run from the law. The attackers were fended off by residents, who shot one of them dead.

Six people, including four attackers, have been charged with hooliganism, which carries a maximum punishment of seven years in prison.

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