Attack in Dagestan: 19 people killed, including 15 policemen and 4 civilians


By John

19, including 15 police officers and 4 civilians, were killed in attacks carried out yesterday evening by armed men against two churches, a synagogue and a law enforcement checkpoint in the Russian republic of Dagestan.

The Investigative Committee announced this. According to local sources, the murdered included the archpriest of a church and private security guards in the synagogue. This was reported by the Ria Novosti agency.

“More than fifteen officers became victims while protecting the peace and tranquility” of the southern Russian republic, Governor Sergey Melikov said in a video posted on Telegram. The authorities specify that among the civilians killed in the attack there was also “Father Nikolaj, who served for more than forty years in the Orthodox church of Derbent”. The attack targeted a church and a synagogue. Counterterrorism killed four of the suspected attackers.

And the toll of alleged attackers killed by counter-terrorism following the attack rises to six, according to the same source. “Six armed men were killed. Further operational search and investigative actions will continue until all participants in the sleeper cells, which were undoubtedly prepared mainly from abroad, are discovered,” Governor Melikov said, quoted by the news agency. Russian press Tass. The situation in Dagestan after the attacks in Makhachkala and Derbent is now under the control of the authorities and law enforcement agencies, he added.

A group of armed men opened fire on a synagogue, a church and, immediately afterwards, a traffic police station between Derbent and Makhachkala. After the attack, the terrorists set fire to the two places of worship and throughout the area the anti-terrorism teams launched a manhunt to stop the attackers. According to local sources, at least two terrorists were killed during the escape. According to the first reconstruction provided by the Ministry of the Interior of Dagestan, around 6pm unknown persons fired automatic weapons at a synagogue and a church. The suspects – the investigators say – fled in a white Volkswagen Polo.

Israel also immediately followed the whole affair with great concern: the Israeli embassy in Moscow – the Foreign Ministry of Tel Aviv said – immediately contacted the leaders of the Jewish community in the Derbent district. According to Israeli sources, “as far as is known, there were no believers in the synagogue at the time of the attack.”

Meanwhile, throughout the Caucasian Republic the local National Anti-Terrorism Committee has decided on an exceptional mobilization of law enforcement agencies specialized in anti-terrorism actions: “In order to guarantee the safety of people, prevent terrorist crimes and block the people involved in the attacks armed – we read in the Committee’s note – the head of the directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) for Dagestan has decided to impose anti-terrorism operations”. A source close to the local police told Tass that the perpetrators of these attacks “are members of an international terrorist organisation”.

Already last October 28, this Muslim-majority Republic was the scene of an openly anti-Semitic act: at the airport of the capital, Makhatchakala, dozens of people stormed the runway and the terminal after it was announced that a plane had landed coming from Israel, shouting ‘Allah u Akbar’, in what seemed to everyone to be a real manhunt, with sinister echoes of a pogrom.

At the time, Moscow accused the Kiev government of having “a key role” in that action. Moscow Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Ukraine’s goal was to “destabilize Russia” by provoking ethno-religious divisions. “Preposterous accusations,” was Washington’s response.

Isw, “probable hand of ISIS behind the attacks in Dagestan”

The Wilayat Kavkaz group, the North Caucasus branch of the Islamic State, “likely carried out the coordinated attack on churches, synagogues and police facilities in the Republic of Dagestan on June 23,” according to the U.S. think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

“IS-K’s Russian branch ‘Al-Azaim Media’ published a statement on June 23 following the attack praising “their brothers from the Caucasus” for demonstrating their capabilities,” ISW writes. “Al-Azaim did not claim responsibility for the attack itself” but “the reference to the Caucasus strongly suggests that Wilayat Kavkaz is responsible for the attack,” the think tank claims.

“The regional counter-terrorism structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) warned that Wilayat Kavkaz has become more active following the attack on Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on March 22 and has intensified recruitment calls in the North Caucasus from ‘April 2024”.

“The anti-terrorism operation concluded”

The anti-terrorist operation in Dagestan has ended. This was announced by the information center of the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC), cited by the Tass agency. “In connection with the elimination of threats to the life and health of citizens, a decision was made to terminate the anti-terrorist operation” this morning, the authorities said. “The legal regime of the anti-terrorist operation within the administrative borders of Makhachkala and Derbent of the Republic of Dagestan has been canceled,” the message reads.