Nine Russians among those detained in Belarus - Russian embassy

Nine Russians were among those detained in Belarus in Sunday's opposition riots, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Minsk, Vadim Gusev, said on Tuesday.

"We have been provided with a list of Russian citizens detained in Belarus. It includes nine people," Gusev said, adding that St. Petersburg press photographer Alexander Astafyev, who was sentenced with a 10-day jail term, was on the list.

Astafyev was detained among several Russian journalists from leading TV channels and newspapers, including Russia Today, REN TV and the state-run First TV channel.

Gusev said Astafyev was registered as unemployed. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said the photo correspondent had not received a journalist accreditation to cover the presidential elections.

Thousands of Belarusians were brutally dispersed in clashes with Interior Ministry troops late on Sunday when opposition protestors tried to storm the parliament after preliminary results showed strongman Alexander Lukashenko had won his fourth consecutive term as president.

At least seven election candidates and over 600 opposition demonstrators were detained.

MINSK, December 21 (RIA Novosti)


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