Attacks on police posts, churches and a synagogue in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan have left 19 police officers and several civilians dead. Six gunmen were also killed. The apparently coordinated attacks targeted the cities of Derbent and Makhachkala on the Orthodox festival of Pentecost. The assailants have not been officially identified, but Dagestan has in the past been the scene of Islamist attacks. The republic’s head, Sergei Melikov, said it was understood who was behind the organisation of the attacks, without giving details. Two churches and a synagogue were targeted in Sunday’s attacks, as well as a police post in Makhachkala, Dagestan’s largest city. An Orthodox Church priest was among those killed. Mr Melikov said several civilians had lost their life, including a priest, Father Nikolai Kotelnikov, who he said had served in Derbent for more than 40 years. (…) In Derbent – home to an ancient Jewish community – gunmen attacked a synagogue and a church, which were then set on fire. A police vehicle was also reportedly attacked in the village of Sergokal. Police detained Magomed Omarov, head of the Sergokalinsky district near Makhachkala, following reports that two of his sons were among those who carried out Sunday’s attacks.

via bbc: Nineteen dead in attacks on churches and synagogue in southern Russia

siehe auch: Gunmen kill police, priest and civilians in attacks on places of worship in Russia’s Dagestan Gunmen opened fire on places of worship in two cities of Russia’s southernmost Dagestan province on Sunday, killing at least 15 police officers, an Orthodox priest and four civilians, in what appeared to be a coordinated attack. Sergey Melikov, head of the Dagestan Republic, said at least six “militants” were also killed following the attacks on churches, synagogues and police posts in the cities of Derbent and the regional capital Makhachkala, which are about 120 kilometers (75 miles) apart. The attacks took place in the republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus, a predominantly Muslim region on the Caspian Sea that has a history of separatist and militant violence. The turbulence in the region has been further fanned by Russia’s war in Ukraine, where ethnic minorities have been disproportionately mobilized to fight. Video and photos showed large flames and plumes of smoke billowing heavily out of a synagogue in Derbent, while footage filmed from the window of a building in Makhachkala shows black-clad unidentified people shooting at a police car in a street. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, which come three months after ISIS affiliate ISIS-K said it carried out an assault at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow that claimed more than 140 lives in one of Russia’s deadliest terrorist atrocities in years; Breaking : Gunmen attack synagogue, church in Russia’s Dagestan, two police officers killed. Gunmen opened fire at a synagogue, an Orthodox church and a police post in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Dagestan, and two police officers were killed, news agencies quoted the Russian interior ministry as saying. Six people were wounded in the attacks. The reports said one officer was killed when shots were fired at a synagogue in Derbent, home to an ancient Jewish community in the North Caucasus. An exchange of fire also took place in an Orthodox Church in the town, a UNESCO heritage site.

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