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ULAN UDE, January 10 (Itar-Tass) —— One person died in a gunfire exchange in the village of Zhemchug in the Tunkin district of Buryatia, Dmitry Stolyarov from the republican department of the Russian Investigation Committee told Itar-Tass.
The body of a 20-year-old resident of Ulan Ude shot in the back was found in a forest near Zhemchug on January 6, he said.
“A criminal case was opened on the murder charges,” he added.
The Buryatia police said earlier that the armed clash killed two people.
“The murder was committed in an armed conflict between residents of Ulan Ude and the Tunkin district. The fighters fled the clash scene. It took the police several days to identify them. The fighters are being questioned for learning the causes and sequence of the fight,” Stolyarov said.
There are unofficial reports about the incident as well. “It was a clash between two criminal groups, from the Tunkin district and Ulan Ude, triggered by a brawl in the city shortly before the New Year. Up to ten criminals from Ulan Ude went to the Tunkin district after the holiday and had an encounter with about 15 villagers,” a police source told Itar-Tass.
The police do not rule out that the villagers are interested in the theory of a mob war aimed at the control over the tourist zone.
The Buryatia Interior Ministry said it would comment on the incident at a briefing on January 11.
“There was an incident in the village; there were casualties. Yet any official comments will be posted only after the end of the preliminary investigation the Tunkin district prosecutor’s office is doing,” the ministry said.
The police explained the unwillingness to make imminent comment on the incident with the constant discovery of sudden details. Yet all the law enforcers say that media reports claiming an armed seizure of the village are an exaggeration.
The incident is viewed in the light of similar events, which happened in the Urals village of Sagra on July 1, 2011. Back then villagers clashed with visitors from Yekaterinburg and knives, clubs, chains and firearms were used. A 28-year-old resident of Yekaterinburg died in the shooting. The police seized non-lethal weapons, baseball bats, clubs, brass knuckles and ammo for a Kalashnikov submachine gun and a large-caliber machine gun from the detainees. Charges were brought against 23 fighters and two policemen, who had been charged with culpable negligence.