An African student was hospitalised in a coma Tuesday after suffering a beating by racist attackers in Russia's northwestern city of Saint Petersburg, local police said. "We have learned that a student of Saint-Petersburg Polytechnical University, a 29-year-old native of Ivory Coast, was beaten by three unidentified individuals near a bus station" in the city, a police source that asked not to be identified told AFP. The victim has been hospitalised after suffering numerous head injuries that put him in a coma. Racist assaults are frequently committed by skinhead gangs which have grown in number in recent years in Russia and specifically Saint-Petersburg. They often target people from Russia's Caucasus region and the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. The number of such crimes has grown by nearly 20 percent in 2010 from the year before, according to the Russian Prosecutor General, who conceded in April that the authorities are not successful in curbing the trend.