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Protest erupts in southern Russia over land swap deal with Chechnya

MOSCOW – Thousands of people took to the streets of the southern Russian region of Ingushetia on Thursday to protest against what they said was an unfair land swap deal with the neighboring Russian region of Chechnya.

The regional parliament on Thursday endorsed the new border deal agreed by the heads of Ingushetia and Chechnya, both majority Muslim regions, on Sept. 26.

The deal envisages a land swap meant to end simmering territorial tensions that emerged after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Protesters in Ingushetia said they believed that the deal amounted to a surrender of territory and that the arrangement favored Chechnya at their own region’s expense.

Separately, Yevkurov called for calm in a statement, saying the land swap deal was a good one.

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