Russian media said on Sunday five Jamaican students and one Colombian sustained serious injuries in the attack by skinheads, near a hostel of the People's Friendship University on Saturday night.

Police have detained nine of around 30 skinheads involved in the attack, interior ministry official Viktor Ponka said.

Foreign students in Moscow had often come under racist attacks in recent years.

Education Minister Vladimir Fillipov is expected to visit the university to discuss the authorities' response to the attack with students, Ponka said.

"This is not the first time extremist youths have attacked our
students," Ponka said.

Blaze toll rises

Meanwhile, the toll from a huge 24 November blaze at another university hostel continued to rise, reaching 38 by Saturday.

A further 157 of those caught in the fire remained in hospital, five of them in critical condition. The fire victims came from more than 20 countries, many in Asia and Africa.

The blaze was at first blamed on arsonists, but the authorities had since said they think faulty electrical equipment was the cause.

The Peoples' Friendship University, formerly known as Patrice Lumumba University after the assassinated first prime minister of what is today the Democratic Republic of Congo, was founded in Soviet times to train students from developing countries who were then supposed to spread Soviet influence.