MOSCOW – A grisly murder has shocked Moscow residents after the body of a woman from Russia’s predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan was found murdered with symbols of the cross slashed on her body.
“The dead woman was slashed on her arms, knees and stomach, with cross-shaped figures,” a police source told RIA Novositi on Sunday, November 24.
The woman’s body was found on a staircase in an apartment building in the southwest of Moscow city on Saturday night.
The Moscow police website confirmed the discovery of the woman’s body and said a murder inquiry had been launched.
The murder is not the first to shock Moscow Muslims recently.
Over the past weeks, the Russian capital has been affected by the worst mass violence and heightened racial tensions following the fatal stabbing of a Russian man by a suspect the police said was from Azerbaijan.
Three weeks ago, thousands took to the streets to protest the murder of a Muscovite young man.
Meanwhile, police arrested a suspect with Azerbaijani roots and rounded up about 1,000 migrants.
Earlier this month, thousands of Russian ultra-nationalists marched in Moscow against Muslim migrants and soaring numbers of foreigners in the country.
Protesters have also chanted slogans like ‘White Power’ and ‘Russia for the Russians’, as one group held a banner that read “Young People Against Tolerance.”
Islam is Russia’s second-largest religion representing roughly 15 percent of its 145 million predominantly Orthodox population.
The Russian Federation is home to some 23 million Muslims in the north of the Caucasus and southern republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.
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