2006-05-27 17:45:00

120 detained over gay-pride parade in Moscow (updated)

Moscow, May 27, Interfax - Up to 120 young people claiming to be members of the gay community have been detained for trying to stage an unauthorized march in downtown Moscow, a city police spokesman told Interfax.

"There were a total of 200 people," the spokesman said. They hurled smoke bombs at passers-by and police and set off fireworks, he said.

Other people tried to stop the demonstrators, the spokesman said. "The administration of the central interior affairs department authorized the detention of the most aggressive young people in order to avoid clashes," he said.

The action's organizers and other members of the gay rights movement were put into buses and taken to police stations, he said. Most of them have already been released, the spokesman said.

Several journalists and foreigners were among those detained during the unauthorized march, a law enforcement source told Interfax.

There has been no word on injuries.