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Dagestan TERROR: 15 killed, including cops and priest, in synagogue and church shootings (WATCH)

The attacks took place in a predominantly Muslim region with a history of armed insurgency. The gunmen targeted two Orthodox churches, a synagogue, and a police post across two cities, according to authorities.

Dagestan TERROR: Gunmen attack church, kill 15 officers and several civilians (WATCH) AJR
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First Published Jun 24, 2024, 9:52 AM IST

As many as 15 people, including police officers and a priest, were killed, and several others injured in a series of coordinated attacks on synagogues, churches, and a police post in Russia's North Caucasus region of Dagestan on Sunday. The region's governor, Sergei Melikov, described the incidents as a "terrorist attack."

The attacks took place in Dagestan's largest city, Makhachkala, and the coastal city of Derbent. Governor Melikov reported that the police had killed four gunmen in Makhachkala and two in Derbent. Among the deceased were several civilians and an Orthodox priest who had served in Derbent for over 40 years.

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"This evening in Derbent and Makhachkala, unknown attackers attempted to destabilize the society," Melikov wrote on Telegram. "We know who is behind these terrorist attacks and what objective they are pursuing," he added, hinting at connections to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Melikov stressed the gravity of the situation and said, "We must understand that war comes to our homes too. We felt it, but today we face it." He announced the conclusion of the "active phase" of operations in both cities, confirming that "six bandits have been liquidated."

Authorities are now focused on identifying and apprehending all members of the sleeper cells responsible for the attacks, including those with connections abroad. In response to the tragedy, June 24-26 have been declared days of mourning in Dagestan, with flags at half-staff and all entertainment events cancelled.

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Russia's Investigative Committee has launched criminal investigations into the "acts of terror" in Dagestan. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, state media reported that among the assailants were two sons of the head of central Dagestan's Sergokala district, who have been detained.

In Derbent, officials reported that both the synagogue and church were set on fire during the attacks.

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