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Attack on synagogues, churches in Russia’s Dagestan: 9 killed, 25 injured, terror probe launched

Photo Credit: Reuters

Unidentified gunmen launched coordinated attacks on synagogues, churches, and a police post in Russia’s Dagestan region, resulting in the deaths of at least 15 individuals, including police officers and an Orthodox priest, with several others injured. The attacks took place simultaneously in Makhachkala, Dagestan’s largest city, and Derbent, a coastal city. Governor Sergei Melikov labeled the incidents as a “terrorist attack.”

Authorities reported that police forces had neutralized four gunmen in Makhachkala and two in Derbent. Melikov confirmed that among the casualties were civilians and the long-serving Orthodox priest from Derbent.

In a statement on Telegram, Melikov condemned the attacks aimed at destabilizing society, hinting at potential links to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. He emphasized the need to confront the threat of war impacting local communities directly.

Melikov announced the conclusion of the “active phase” of operations in both cities, with six assailants “liquidated.” He pledged to apprehend all individuals involved in planning and executing the attacks, including those possibly operating from abroad, suggesting the involvement of sleeper cells.

In response to the tragedy, June 24-26 were declared days of mourning in Dagestan, marked by lowered flags and the cancellation of all entertainment events. Russia’s Investigative Committee initiated criminal investigations into what it classified as “acts of terror,” although no group immediately claimed responsibility.

Russian media sources reported that two sons of the head of Sergokala district in central Dagestan, allegedly involved in the attacks, had been detained according to law enforcement statements.

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