“terrorist attacks” against churches and a synagogue, police officers and a priest killed

“terrorist attacks” against churches and a synagogue, police officers and a priest killed
“terrorist attacks” against churches and a synagogue, police officers and a priest killed

They targeted “two Orthodox churches, a synagogue and a police checkpoint,” announced the Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee, cited by the Ria Novosti agency. “According to initial reports, a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church and police officers were killed during these terrorist attacks,” he continues. In total, six police officers were killed and twelve injured in the attacks, said the spokesperson for the Dagestan Interior Ministry, Gaïana Garïeva. The priest, aged 66, was killed in Derbent, she said.

Armed individuals also opened fire on a vehicle carrying police officers, injuring one of them, in Sergokala, a village located between Makhachkala and Derbent, the local Interior Ministry told Russian agencies. At the same time, the police “eliminated four attackers in Makhachkala”, indicated this same source.

The Russian Investigative Committee indicated that it had opened a criminal investigation into “terrorist acts”, without further details. Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim Russian region neighboring Chechnya, also close to Georgia and Azerbaijan. Anti-terrorist operations are regularly announced there by the Russian authorities.

For his part, the chairman of the Public Council of Jewish Communities of the Russian Federation, Boruch Gorin, declared on Telegram that “the Derbent synagogue is on fire.” “It is not possible to put out the fire. Two people were killed: a police officer and a security guard,” he adds. He also assured that the “synagogue in Makhachkala was set on fire and burned.”

In videos published by Russian media, gunshots could be heard in the streets of Makhachkala, where a large police force was deployed. The authenticity of these images could not immediately be verified. Dagestan leader Sergei Melikov wrote on Telegram: “Tonight in Derbent and Makhachkala, unknown persons tried to destabilize society.”

In October, anti-Israel riots broke out at Makhachkala airport. A crowd of men had invaded its tarmac, amid tensions across the world linked to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, when a plane from Israel landed.

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