MOSCOW, (AFP) - Fighting between Russians and Armenians in a town near Moscow overnight Sunday left eight people injured, four of whom were taken to hospital, local police said.
The violence broke out after a group of young Russians attacked Armenians at Krasnoarmeisk, 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of the capital in apparent retaliation for a knifing incident in a bar blamed on an ethnic Armenian, the Interfax news agency quoted officials as saying.
It was not known how many Armenians and Russians were among the injured. Police were called in to break up the fighting and arrested two men, police spokesman Arkady Spiridonov said.
Russian deputies last month approved Kremlin-sponsored anti-extremist legislation intended to crack down on racist acts, though human rights groups warned that it could also lead to a crackdown on legitimate opposition groups. The legislation followed a spate of racist attacks over the past year which led leading foreign diplomats to express concern for their nationals and embassy staff.