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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

9-Year-Old Girl Stabbed in Stairwell

A 9-year-old girl of mixed Russian and African heritage was stabbed in her St. Petersburg apartment building Saturday night, just three days after a local jury cleared a teenager of murder in the stabbing death of a 9-year-old Tajik girl.

Two men followed the girl as she went into her apartment building at 99 Ligovsky Prospekt shortly before 9 p.m. and attacked her in a stairwell, stabbing her in the head and neck, Interfax reported. NTV television identified the girl as Liana Sisokko.

The girl managed to reach her apartment, and her father, a citizen of Mali, called an ambulance, Interfax said, citing an unidentified official at the St. Petersburg Prosecutor's Office.

The girl was in satisfactory condition and recovering at a children's hospital on Sunday, RIA-Novosti reported.

Calls to St. Petersburg police and prosecutors went unanswered Sunday.

The girl told police that the assailants had worn regular clothes and had not made any racist statements, a police official told Fontanka.ru, a local news web site. Police are looking for two suspects between the ages of 18 and 25. Prosecutors are investigating the attack as a case of attempted murder, not a racially motivated assault, Interfax reported.

Russian experts on violent xenophobia concur that St. Petersburg is the skinhead capital of Russia and accounts for a disproportionately large number of attacks against dark-skinned people.

A St. Petersburg jury on Wednesday acquitted Roman Kazakov, 16, in the murder of 9-year-old Khursheda Sultonova, finding him guilty instead of hooliganism and calling for leniency in his sentence.

Kazakov, who had maintained his innocence, was the only one of eight defendants charged with murder in the attack on the girl, her father, Yusuf, and an 11-year-old cousin in the courtyard of their apartment building on the night of Feb. 9, 2004. The seven other defendants, now aged 15 to 21, were charged with hooliganism. The jury acquitted one Wednesday after he had admitted his participation in the attack. The other six maintained their innocence but were convicted of hooliganism.