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SWAT Teams Called to Roma Protest in Russian Village

Riot police were called to break up an unsanctioned protest in a village in Russia's Tula region, a local news website reported Monday.

A small crowd of Roma residents had gathered in front of the local government building after a court ordered the demolition of a number of Roma houses.

Police officers, SWAT teams, riot police, interior troops and bailiffs were called to the area after some protesters started to throw bottles. Rocks were thrown at riot police as the situation escalated, according to reports.

The houses were scheduled for demolition after an investigation found that they had been illegally connected to the local pipe network. Although several houses were dismantled by local Roma residents, many home owners protested the demolition.

The village of Plekhanovo is home to 10,000 people, of which roughly 3,000 are Roma. Three hundred of the 700 houses in the village belong to Roma families. Local courts have ordered the demolition of 122 of them.

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