Attacked a church and a synagogue in Dagestan: seven officers, an Orthodox priest and a common person killed. Twenty-five injured


By John

Nine people killed, including seven law enforcement officers, and 25 injured: is the latest, not yet final, toll of the terrorist attacks that hit a church and a synagogue in the Republic of Dagestan. “Law enforcement officers, clergymen and ordinary people were victims of barbaric terrorist attacks. The death toll has risen to nine, including seven law enforcement officers. Twenty-five people were injured,” local authorities said, expressing their condolences to the families of the victims. In addition, the local Interior Ministry said that sFour terrorists were killed by anti-terrorism forces.

The terrorist attack took place in Derbent, in the Autonomous Republic of Dagestan, in southern Russia, where 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 that throughout the area the anti-terrorism teams launched a manhunt to stop the attackers.

According to the first reconstruction provided by the Ministry of the Interior of Dagestan, around 6 pm unknown they shot at a synagogue and a church with automatic weapons. 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 people involved in armed attacks – reads 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 28th this Muslim-majority Republic had been 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 the landing of a plane from Israel was announced, shouting ‘Allah u Akbar’, in what everyone thought a real manhunt, with sinister echoes of pogroms. 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. “Absurd accusations,” was Washington’s response.