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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 06:30 GMT
Murder of African alarms Russia
African student passes spot where Cameroonian was murdered in St Petersburg
This year has seen a sharp rise on attacks on foreigners in Russia
A Russian youth movement allied to President Vladimir Putin is to demand action against racist violence after the murder of an African student.

A spokesman for Nashi (Our People) said it wanted public condemnation of rising racial intolerance in St Petersburg, Mr Putin's native city.

A Cameroonian was stabbed to death and a Kenyan citizen wounded in attacks in the city on Saturday evening.

Russian prosecutors say they suspect both crimes were racially motivated.

The Cameroonian, identified as Kanhem Leon, was attacked by a group of five or six youths dressed in dark clothing and black hats, a spokeswoman for the St Petersburg prosecutor said.

A Namibian student with the victim managed to escape from the scene, said Yelena Ordynskaya.

The Kenyan was attacked 300 metres away at around the same time.

Student anger

A spokesman for Africans in the city, named as Desire Defoe, was quoted by Russian media as saying that foreign students in St Petersburg planned to hold a protest shortly.

Nashi said they wanted to raise xenophobic attacks with the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, a recently created advisory body.

"We demand that the St Petersburg authorities stop the outrages in the city," said Nashi press secretary Ivan Mostovich.

The head of Russia's Students' Union, Nikita Chaplin, has called on President Putin and the government to oversee the investigation into Saturday's attacks personally.

"It is unlikely that local authorities have the ability to investigate them," he told a Moscow radio station.

According to figures from the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights, there were three times as many fatal racial attacks in Russia in the first six months of 2005, compared with the whole of 2004.

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