Gunmen Assault Synagogues and Churches in Russian Republic


Gunmen attacked synagogues and church buildings in two cities in southern Russia on Sunday, killing a number of police officers and a priest, in an evidently coordinated assault that underscored Russia’s vulnerability to extremist violence.

Officers claimed six of the gunmen were killed immediately after shootouts in the two towns, Makhachkala and Derbent, in the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea. Wielding rifles and Molotov cocktails, they attacked a synagogue and a church in each individual of the two cities, in accordance to the authorities and religious businesses.

Sergei Melikov, Dagestan’s governor, described the attack as the newest assault “on our fraternity, on our multiethnic unity.”

The exact death toll was not quickly distinct. Mr. Melikov said that “more than 15 law enforcement officers fell victim to today’s terrorist attack,” devoid of specifying how many of them were being killed and how lots of have been wounded.

The motives and identities of the gunmen had been also unclear, and there was no declare of responsibility for the attack. Russia’s Investigative Committee, an analogue to the F.B.I., explained it had started a terrorism investigation.

The attack was the latest outburst of apparent extremist violence inside Russia as the region fights its war against neighboring Ukraine. 4 gunmen killed 145 individuals at a Moscow live performance corridor in March in an assault for which the Islamic Point out claimed responsibility. And in Dagestan previous October, an antisemitic mob stormed a airplane arriving from Tel Aviv.

In Derbent, the attackers set hearth to a synagogue just after taking pictures and killing the law enforcement officers who have been guarding it, the Russian Jewish Congress reported. They also killed a priest, Nikolai Kotelnikov, according to a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church. The priest was the only confirmed sufferer of Sunday’s assault who was not a regulation-enforcement officer, even though Mr. Melikov said “several” civilians had been killed.

At about the exact time, early Sunday night, gunmen also opened hearth on a targeted traffic law enforcement submit in Makhachkala, according to condition media experiences. The attackers’ targets also bundled Makhachkala’s Cathedral of the Assumption, in accordance to condition media reports, and a synagogue, according to the Russian Jewish Congress.

Video clips posted by Dagestan’s interior ministry confirmed gunmen on the loose in the town of Makhachkala, opening fire and forcing people out of their automobiles. At just one stage, police claimed streets main out of the town had been blocked. It remained unclear late Sunday irrespective of whether any gunmen remained at significant, even though Mr. Melikov claimed the “active phase” of the police response was above.

The mayhem highlighted the extended-working ethnic and religious tensions in Russia, notably in the country’s southern Caucasus region, which contains Dagestan. Patriarch Kirill I, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, explained it was “no coincidence” that the attack took spot on the working day Orthodox Christians notice Pentecost.

“We see that the enemy is not offering up on tries to destroy interreligious peace and harmony within just our culture,” Kirill mentioned in a statement.

Still left unsaid was who, accurately, the enemy was. There was no remark from the Kremlin and the authorities stated small about the identities of the attackers, although some point out media experiences stated some of the gunmen may well have been sons of a neighborhood official.

After the March taking pictures at a Moscow live performance hall — Russia’s deadliest terrorist attack in 20 many years — Russian officers consistently claimed, without proof, that Ukraine and the West ended up driving the violence, even however the Islamic Point out claimed duty for it.

On Sunday, some Russian politicians also pointed a finger at the West, with no evidence. Leonid Slutsky, a senior lawmaker, claimed that the assaults had “the goal of sowing panic and dividing the people of Russia” and that “the blood of the victims” was also on the fingers of the United States.

The attacks were being the most recent incident to rattle Russia’s Jewish local community, which has faced elevated threats due to the fact the commencing of the war in Gaza, according to community leaders. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was in get in touch with with Jewish group leaders in Dagestan, and that there have been no recognized casualties between that group.



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Gunmen attacked synagogues and church buildings in two cities in southern Russia on Sunday, killing a number of police officers and a priest, in an evidently coordinated assault that underscored Russia’s vulnerability to extremist violence. Officers claimed six of the gunmen were killed immediately after shootouts in the two towns, Makhachkala and Derbent, in the…