BBC news team in Russia 'badly beaten' and have cameras destroyed in 'co-ordinated attack'

A BBC news team has been "badly beaten" in southern Russia while investigating reports of Russian servicemen being killed near the Ukrainian border.

The corporation has lodged a formal protest with the Russian authorities after the attack, which took place in the city of Astrakhan.

The BBC reports that the team was “assaulted by unidentified men in a co-ordinated attack”. It said staff were “badly beaten” and had “their camera destroyed and then taken”.

The journalists were taken to a police station and questioned for four hours.

They then discovered that their recording equipment, which was in their vehicle at the station, had been “electronically wiped”.

The BBC said in a statement: “The attack on our staff, and the destruction of their equipment and recordings, were clearly part of a co-ordinated attempt to stop accredited news journalists reporting a legitimate news story.

“We deplore this act of violence against our journalists and call on the Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and to condemn the assault on our staff.”

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