Some 300 detained in St. Pete in anti-extremist operation

Police operatives detained about 300 people in St. Petersburg on Friday in an operation under two criminal cases dealing with extremism, the regional Federal Security Service (FSB) department told Interfax.

"About 300 people have been detained. Twenty of them having relation to criminal cases have been brought to the Investigative Committee, and the other 250 illegally staying on Russian territory have been delivered to Center E [an anti-extremism police department]," the FSB sources said.

Extremist literature has also been seized at the places where the operation was conducted, he said.

It was reported earlier that FSB and Interior Ministry operatives had conducted operations in St. Petersburg on Friday under criminal cases opened by the Investigative Committee on charges of public calls for terrorist activities or public justification of terrorism (Criminal Code Article 205 Part 2) and the fomenting of hatred or hostility or humiliation of human dignity (Article 282).

A law enforcement source told Interfax that the operations were conducted in prayer rooms in Apraksin Dvor and at the apartments of suspected criminals.

The operations were aimed at identifying people suspected of involvement in terrorist and extremist activities and bringing them to investigative agencies in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region.

The law enforcement also planned to find and seize extremist literature, weapons, illicit drugs, and other objects and documents that could be of use in the criminal investigation under the said criminal cases, the Investigative Committee department for St. Petersburg said.

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