Terrorist Attacks in Russia: Churches and Synagogue Targeted

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.23 - 2024 9:36 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Several people injured.

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As reported by Lenta in a shocking series of events, terrorists attacked two Orthodox churches and a synagogue in Derbent, Dagestan. Additionally, unknown assailants opened fire on a police post in Makhachkala. These attacks have resulted in casualties and ongoing violent confrontations in the region.

Snagogues on fire

On the evening of June 23, five militants entered a church in Derbent, where about 40 parishioners were present.

Contrary to early reports of a hostage situation, the Dagestan Ministry of Internal Affairs has denied such claims. The attackers shot a security guard and killed the church's priest, Father Nikolai.

Both the church and the synagogue were set on fire, with a Qur'anic reference found painted on the synagogue's door. A man was found dead near the burning synagogue with a gunshot wound, and another man was hospitalized with burns.

Armed militants exchanged fire with law enforcement and escaped in a white Volkswagen Polo, but two were later killed by police.

Police Post Attacked in Makhachkala

Meanwhile, in Makhachkala, unknown assailants attacked a police post on Yermoshkina Street, killing one officer and injuring six others.

Civilians were also injured, though their numbers are still being confirmed. According to Shamil Khadulaev, head of the regional Public Oversight Commission, the attackers also killed a security guard at Makhachkala-1 Church.

The assailants fled in a stolen vehicle, prompting authorities to launch an interception plan. Confrontations continued in the city, with a patrol car set on fire on Ordzhonikidze Street. At least two suspects were apprehended on a beach. Reports indicate that the attackers included two sons of a local district head.

Anti-Terror Operation Launched

In response to the attacks, Dagestan's head Sergey Melikov announced the establishment of an operational headquarters to manage the situation.

Law enforcement agencies have initiated counter-terrorism operations in both Derbent and Makhachkala. Investigators are currently on the scene, collecting evidence and determining the circumstances of the incidents. Six police officers have been confirmed dead, and at least 12 others have been injured in the violence.

Melikov urged the public to remain calm, assuring them that detailed information would be provided as the situation develops.

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened criminal cases under the terrorism statutes in connection with these attacks, underscoring the gravity of the situation and the ongoing threat in the region