Europe

Volunteer firefighters in Russia attacked with guns, knives

In this handout photo released by Greenpeace, Michael Kreindlin, a Greenpeace Russia staff member, poses for a photo after being beaten by attackers in Mogukorovka village, the Kuban region, 1120 kilometers (700 miles) south from Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Masked men armed with guns, knives and stun grenades have attacked a camp of volunteer firefighters who came to southern Russia to help to put out forest fires. (Maria Vasileva/Greenpeace Photo via AP)

In this handout photo released by Greenpeace, Michael Kreindlin, a Greenpeace Russia staff member, poses for a photo after being beaten by attackers in Mogukorovka village, the Kuban region, 1120 kilometers (700 miles) south from Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Masked men armed with guns, knives and stun grenades have attacked a camp of volunteer firefighters who came to southern Russia to help to put out forest fires. (Maria Vasileva/Greenpeace Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Masked men armed with guns, knives and stun grenades have attacked a camp of volunteer firefighters who came to southern Russia to help to put out forest fires.

The environmental group Greenpeace, whose members were at the camp in southern Russia, said on Friday the masked men attacked their camp at night, beating up people and damaging their tents and cars parked nearby. Several people have been taken to the hospital, one of them with a broken nose, another with broken ribs.

The attackers were shouting "Go back to America," the activists said.

The ultranationalist Cossack militia considers Greenpeace and other foreign NGOs to be Western spies infiltrating Russia. Greenpeace said its members were blocked in the camp on Thursday unable to leave after the Cossacks surrounded it.