Gunmen open fire on places of worship in Russia, killing several people

Gunmen opened fire on the Derbent synagogue, which then caught fire. Two police officers are said to have been killed in the attack, the Russian Interior Ministry said. Twelve other people were injured. A priest was reportedly killed in an attack on an Orthodox church in another part of the city. It was said that his throat had been cut. The church would also be on fire.

According to Russian media, four of the attackers in Derbent have been killed. Nothing is yet known about his motive. A search is underway for the remaining attackers who are still at large.

Simultaneously with the two attacks, a shooting also took place at a police post in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan province, about 125 kilometers north of Derbent. There were also several fatalities by the police. The death of a member of the National Guard was also reported.

Dagestan is the southernmost province of Russia and borders the Caspian Sea. The inhabitants of Dagestan are largely Muslim.

Six police officers, a member of the national guard and a priest were killed in the three attacks, according to Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee and police.

The Anti-Terrorism Committee has launched large-scale operations in the region in response to the attacks. “To ensure the safety of the population, prevent terrorist crimes and arrest those involved in armed attacks, the head of the Russian Federal Security Service FSB has decided to establish a series of anti-terrorist operations,” a statement said.

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