Mob storms Russian airport looking for Israelis as US condemns 'anti-Semitic protests'

A mob looking for Israelis and Jews overran an airport in Russia's Caucasus republic of Dagestan on Sunday, after rumours spread that a flight was arriving from Israel.

The violence in the mostly Muslim region, which comes as war rages between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, prompted Israel to call on Russia to protect its citizens, while the United States condemned the "anti-Semitic protests".

The governor of Dagestan promised that those responsible for the incident would be punished, and the republic's interior ministry said later that 60 people had been arrested in the unrest.

"More than 150 active participants in the unrest have been identified, 60 of them have been arrested," the ministry said in a statement early Monday.

Dozens of protesters, many of them chanting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest), broke through doors and barriers at Makhachkala airport, with some charging onto the runway, according to videos posted on social media and Russia's RT and Izvestia media.

Russia's aviation agency Rosaviatsiya announced shortly afterwards that it had closed the airport to incoming and outgoing flights and that security forces had arrived.

"The situation is under control," local authorities said on Telegram.

A statement from the republic's health ministry said there had been injuries, but did not elaborate on how many or who had been hurt.


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