MAKHACHKALA, Russia – Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters demanding the resignation of a district administration chief in southern Russia's troubled Dagestan province, leading to clashes that killed one person, officials said.
The violence began Tuesday after demonstrators blocked a road in Usukhchai, the main town in the Dozuparinsky district, said a local police spokesman, Dadash Gadzhimuradov. He estimated the crowd at about 1,000 and said they had tried to break into local government offices.
Regional Interior Ministry spokeswoman Angela Martirosova said one of the protesters was killed and 12 people were wounded, mostly police officers. The head of the district's emergency medical center, Kazanfar Kurbanov, however, said that more than 30 people were wounded, most slightly.
Martirosova said more than 60 people were detained following the clashes.
Organizers of the rally could not immediately be reached for comment.
Footage broadcast by NTV showed protesters, mainly men, confronted by helmeted riot police, holding up posters with slogans "We want honest elections" and "Give the villages their money from the budget."
Dagestan, like other largely Muslim provinces in Russia's North Caucasus, has been afflicted by growing unrest and violence.
Some of the unrest has been linked to the separatist conflict in strife-torn Chechnya, but it also has been blamed on grinding poverty, widespread unemployment and official corruption.