Man charged with promoting terror in Russia

Moscow, Feb 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A man has been charged with promoting terrorism and seven others were deported from among 300 people held in a police swoop in St. Petersburg.

Masked police raided Islamic prayer rooms in St. Petersburg's historic Apraksin Dvor market and several apartments in Russia's second-largest city, seizing suspected extremist material.

Among those held was 34-year-old Murat Sarbashev, from the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.

He is suspected of distributing extremist literature online between 2010 and 2011 and posting videos of terrorist attacks.

He was arrested and charged with inciting hatred and terrorism, St. Petersburg-based Fontanka.Ru news website reported.

Joint security forces also detained foreigners from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as residents of the North Caucasus in the special operation on suspicion of extremism and migration law violations.

Seven of them have been deported to ex-Soviet countries, an official said.

Around 30 of those detained had violated migration laws.

The raid followed a recent criminal probe into "public justification of terrorism and incitement of hatred", the Investigative Committee said.

Fontanka.Ru said the operation also followed investigation of a new social network page called "Petersburg Jamaat", which contains "extremist appeals and audio reports containing speeches by Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov".

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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