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Last Updated: Monday, 10 October 2005, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Russian gang kills Peru student
By Emma Simpson
BBC News, Moscow

One foreign student has been killed and two others injured in what appears to be a racially motivated attack in central Russia.

Authorities say that a group of around 15 youths attacked the three foreign students at a sports complex in the city of Voronezh.

Earlier this year, a human rights group warned that racism was growing at an alarming rate in Russia.

Prosecutors have yet to indicate a motive for the latest attack.

One of the students, a Peruvian national, was killed and the other two, from Spain, are in hospital with serious head injuries.

Spate of violence

Voronezh is a big college town: since Soviet days it has hosted hundreds of foreign students every year.

But it seems to be acquiring a rather ugly image as a place of racial intolerance.

Over the past six years, at least seven foreigners have been killed in what appear to be racially motivated attacks.

A year ago, a group of skinheads murdered a student from Africa. They were caught and convicted.

According to the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights, racism and xenophobia are on the increase in Russia.

They say there have been three times as many fatal attacks in the first six months of this year, compared with the whole of last year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged the seriousness of the problem.

In a televised question and answer session last month he apologised to foreigners who have been attacked, and promised to end racist activities in Russia.

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