Afghan Interpreter Killed by Skinheads Near Metro

A group of skinheads savagely assaulted an Afghan interpreter near Polyanka metro station Monday and he died the next day, the Afghan Embassy said Wednesday in appeal to the Foreign Ministry to crackdown on racist violence.

Abdul Hakim Hakrid, 35, an interpreter for the Federal Migration Service, is survived by his Russian wife and their four children.

"Our countrymen are extremely concerned about the growth of nationalist attitudes in certain layers of Russian society," the embassy said in the appeal.

"Afghans ... suffer daily attacks by Nazi-minded youth, and receive no protection from law enforcement officers," it said.

The Afghan Embassy accused the police of looking the other way after such attacks because the victims often do not have proper documents, since many of them fled Afghanistan as refugees.

The embassy urged the Foreign Ministry to take measures to prevent such assaults.

Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov said Wednesday that his ministry is "seriously concerned" about attacks by extremist groups and is on alert for those timed around Adolf Hitler's birthday Saturday.

"Organized youth groups that use their activities for extremist goals must be taken under control and their activities halted," he said in remarks on RTR television. "I'm certain that we can overcome this."

Moscow police will increase patrols at metro and train stations and outdoor markets, where such attacks are frequent, through the weekend, Nikolai Kulikov, head of the municipal government's department for cooperation with police, was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Still, he played down the threat of violence, saying, "We are exaggerating things a bit, placing these young people in the limelight."