DUSHANBE, August 29, Asia-Plus -- A Tajik woman has been found unconscious with brain damage in a park in Russia''s second largest city of St. Petersburg following a violent attack, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported yesterday referring to the law enforcement agencies.  

"The woman was found unconscious in Udelny Park and cannot answer questions yet," the source said, adding that the 32-year-old woman had been taken to hospital in a critical condition, according to RIA Novosti.

The Tajik Embassy in Moscow has not yet had further details of this incident.  “We have got in touch with Mahmadnazar Mirzoda, the head of the Tajik Diaspora in St. Petersburg and ask him to identify the victim,” Muhammad Egamzod, press secretary of the Tajik Embassy in Moscow, told Asia-Plus. 

According to him, the woman is currently in hospital and she was diagnosed with open brain injury, and fractures to the nose and skull base.  She has already undergone surgery.  The woman is now in intensive care, and is in a serious condition.

An inquiry has been opened into the incident in western St. Petersburg, the latest of a series of attacks on ethnic minorities in the city in recent years.

We will recall that a nine-year-old Tajik girl Khursheda Sultonova died of stab wounds in St. Petersburg in February 2004 after being attacked along with her father and 11-year-old cousin by a group of young men.  The main teenaged defendant in the case was cleared of race-hate murder but convicted of robbery and hooliganism, just like another six defendants.  In all, seven of eight arrested attackers were sentenced to 1.5 to 5.5 years in jail, and one was cleared of all charges.  The investigation established that 11 people had been implicated in the attack.

“The Tajik Embassy strongly condemns this incident and demands that the St. Petersburg law enforcement agencies should solve this crime,” Muhammad Egamzod said.