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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Student murder in Russia 'racist'
A Senegalese student has been killed by unidentified gunmen in the Russian city of St Petersburg, in what police believe is a racially-motivated attack.

Samba Lamsar was shot as he and his friends left a night club in the centre of Russia's second-largest city.

It is the latest in a wave of recent attacks in the city on foreigners and members of ethnic minorities.

A nine-year-old girl of mixed Russian and Malian parentage was seriously injured in a stabbing in March.

Last week, a teenager was acquitted of stabbing a nine-year-old Tajik girl to death in 2004.

Swastika sign

The attack on a group of African students took place early on Friday on the 5th Krasnoarmeyskaya Street, police in St Petersburg said.

They said the murder was racially-motivated, after finding a shotgun with a swastika sign on it near the scene of the attack.

Desire Defait, head of St Petersburg's African Unity organisation, said the assailants opened fire on the group of about six after they left the club.

"As a result, one of them fell and it turned out he (Samba Lamsar) was dead. The attacker shot from behind and no-one saw how many there were," Mr Defait told the AFP news agency.

Samba Lamsar had been studying in St Petersburg's telecommunications institute.

The city has recently seen an increase in violent attacks on foreigners and members of ethnic minorities.

On 25 March, the nine-year-old girl of Russian and Malian parentage was seriously injured in a stabbing attack, which prosecutors believe was racially-motivated.

Last December, a Cameroonian student was stabbed to death and a Kenyan national was wounded in attacks across St Petersburg.

Racist violence is seen in Russia as a growing problem by many human rights groups.

According to figures from the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights, there were 25 fatal racial attacks in Russia in 2005.

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