Gunmen attack religious sites and police post in Dagestan, Russia

Gunmen launched coordinated attacks on a synagogue, an Orthodox church, and a police post in Dagestan, Russia, resulting in the deaths of six police officers and the injury of 12 others. The region's Interior Ministry confirmed the tragic incident, which occurred in two cities in the North Caucasus region.

A video obtained by Reuters showed a building engulfed in flames in Derbent, a city in Dagestan, following the attacks. Reuters was able to verify the location through building configuration, color, and roof that matched street and satellite imagery. However, the specific building on fire could not be confirmed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, which come three months after a terrorist attack near Moscow claimed by ISIS. The attackers were reported to be two sons of the head of a district in Dagestan, who were subsequently detained by investigators.

The Interior Ministry reported that four gunmen were shot dead during the incidents, with another killed during a shootout at a church in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. Local reports suggested a higher death toll, including seven police officers.

Dagestan has a history of Islamist insurgency, with Russian security forces previously combating extremists in the region. Street fights erupted in Makhachkala following the attacks, prompting the closure of exits from the city.

The head of Dagestan's regional government condemned the attacks and vowed to punish those responsible. Russian media reported calls for restraint in reacting to the provocations. The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Israel confirmed damage to synagogues in Derbent and Makhachkala, with no worshippers present at the time of the attacks.

Russian authorities have attributed previous incidents in the region to militant Muslim elements. Following a similar incident at Makhachkala's airport last October, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West and Ukraine of inciting unrest within Russia.


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