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    Indian student killed in St. Petersburg

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    "Four unidentified assailants stabbed an Indian citizen, a sixth-year student at the St. Petersburg Mechnikov Medical Academy, who later died of his wounds in the hospital," a police official said.

    ST. PETERSBURG/MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) - An Indian student has been killed in St. Petersburg, law enforcement agencies said Monday.

    "Four unidentified assailants stabbed an Indian citizen, a sixth-year student at the St. Petersburg Mechnikov Medical Academy, who later died of his wounds in the hospital," a police official said.

    An investigation has been launched and a special operation is under way to track down the assailants.

    Russia's second city has experienced a wave of apparently racially motivated attacks on non-Russians this year.

    St. Petersburg Prosecutor Sergei Zaitsev said earlier that an eight-member extremist gang suspected of being involved in the killing of a student from Senegal and other crimes had been broken up.

    Zaitsev also said the gang was involved in the killing of a Korean national in 2003, and of a senior official at the local anthropology and ethnography museum, the Kunstkamera, in June 2004.

    St. Petersburg has been beset by negative publicity over alleged neo-Nazi attacks and killings that also included the beating of a Chinese student, and the stabbing of a nine-year-old girl of mixed Russian-African origin in early 2006.

    Other violent attacks on non-white foreigners in St. Petersburg in recent months included an attack on a man from Mali, who was stabbed to death in February, the murder of a student from Cameroon last December and of a Congolese student in September.

    Routine attacks by skinheads and youth gangs on foreigners and people with non-Slavic features have also been reported in other Russian cities.

    A recent string of attacks on foreign students has cast a shadow over Voronezh, which is located about 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of Moscow and has traditionally been a popular destination with foreign undergraduates interested in studying in Russia.

    Later in October of the same year, an Albanian national studying at Voronezh University told police he was beaten up near his dormitory and had his mobile phone and ID card stolen. In January, two men from Sudan were allegedly assaulted at one of the city's bus stops, but reportedly sustained no serious injuries.

    The attacks prompted Russia's Education and Science Ministry to pledge a review of its list of colleges and universities recommended to foreign students.

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