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Russian Skinheads Kill 9-Year-Old Tajik Girl

St. Petersburg, 10 February 2004 (RFE/RL) -- A group of skinheads in St. Petersburg attacked a Tajik family on the streets last night killing a 9-year-old girl.

Yusuf Sultanov, a seasonal worker from Tajikistan, was walking with his nephew and daughter when they were attacked by a group of 10 to 12 skinheads who stabbed family members, then fled.

Sultanov and the 11-year-old boy suffered injuries in the attack. A police spokesman told RFE/RL the boy was still in hospital with head injuries.

St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko today demanded law-enforcement agencies find the attackers.

A spokesman for Tajikistan's Embassy in Moscow, Muhammad Egamzod, told RFE/RL that attacks on Tajik citizens in Russia have dramatically increased. "The Tajik Embassy in Russia demanded that the murderers of the 9-year-old girl, Khursheda Sultonova, be found and punished," he said. "The number of attacks against Tajik citizens has dramatically increased recently. The Tajik Embassy in Russia believes that the Russian officials will find offenders and punish them."

The attackers are believed to range in age from 14 to 17 years old. Police have opened a murder investigation.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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