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Russian Policeman Held Over Gang Rape in Muslim Region

A Russian policeman was arrested on suspicion of participating in the gang rape of a 25-year-old woman in the majority-Muslim region of Tatarstan.

The 30-year-old police officer and a 20-year-old man were detained for their alleged sexual abuse of the woman in a Russian steam bath, the Investigative Committee said today on its website. The men, who will be charged soon, deny any wrongdoing, according to the statement.

Tatarstan, in central Russia, is witnessing a wave of extremist violence that has spread from the country’s southern Muslim regions, where unrest has been endemic for years. The top cleric in Tatarstan was injured in a car blast and his deputy shot dead in July. Last month, two militants and a Russian special forces officer were killed in a shootout in the regional capital of Kazan.

The killing in Tatarstan marked an escalation of religious tensions in Russia as insurgents increasingly target local Muslim clerics who have spoken out against Islamic militants.

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