World

Mass melee in Moscow cemetery leaves 3 dead, 23 wounded

Moscow city health authorities say a brawl at a cemetery involving up to 200 people has left at least three people dead and 23 wounded, four of them gravely injured.

Police say participants used shovels, shovel handles, steel bars and baseball bats

Police investigators work on the site of a brawl at the Khovanskoye cemetery in Moscow on Saturday. (Associated Press)

Moscow city health authorities say a brawl at a cemetery involving up to 200 people has left at least three people dead and 23 wounded, four of them gravely injured.

Police spokeswoman Sofia Khotina told the Interfax news agency said two victims were hit by a car driven by someone trying to flee the scene of Saturday's brawl.

She said the three people in the car, who were armed with pistols, were among more than 90 people detained by police. She said they would be questioned to determine who was responsible for the deaths.

The mass brawl took place at the sprawling Khovanskoye Cemetery, in southwest Moscow. (Dmitry Rozhkov/Wikimedia Commons)

Russian news reports cited police as saying the brawl was believed to have been about control over providing burial services at the sprawling Khovanskoye cemetery in southwest Moscow.

With Russia's economy battered by Western sanctions and low prices for its oil exports, migrants struggle to find work and ethnic criminal groups add to social tensions.

Quoting a police source, the TASS news agency said ethnic Chechens, Dagestanis, Uzbeks and Tajiks were among those detained.

Police and witnesses said participants used shovels, shovel handles, steel bars and baseball bats and also fired non-lethal handguns.

Russian media has been posting videos which they say show the brawl, though they have not been independently verified by CBC News.

With files from Reuters

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now