Gunmen in Russia kill eight police and a priest, attack synagogues in ‘terrorist attacks’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun24,2024
Armed men have launched simultaneous attacks in the cities of Makhachkala and Derbent in Russia’s Dagestan region, killing at least eight police and national guard officers and a priest, officials said.
What happened: The attacks took place at several churches, synagogues and a police checkpoint. One synagogue was set on fire and a priest from the Russian Orthodox Church killed, according to reports.
Police had killed four gunmen in Makhachkala and two in Derbent, while six officers were killed and 12 wounded in what Russia’s National Anti-terrorism Committee has labelled “terrorist attacks”.
A local police chief and National Guard officer were also reportedly killed.

The Russian Orthodox Church said its archpriest Nikolai Kotelnikov was “brutally killed” in Derbent, while the Russian Jewish Congress said the Derbent synagogue was attacked about 40 minutes before evening prayers.

Gunmen fired at police and security guards and threw in Molotov cocktails, the Jewish organisation said, adding that the attack in Makhachkala was similar.
Russia’s state news agency TASS cited a law enforcement source as saying that the attackers were “supporters of an international terrorist organisation”, without naming it.
No group has taken responsibility for the attacks.
The key quote: “This evening in Derbent and Makhachkala unknown (attackers) made attempts to destabilise the situation in society.” — Sergei Melikov, leader of Dagestan.
What else to know: Dagestan lies east of Chechnya, where Russian authorities battled separatists in two brutal wars, first in 1994-1996 and then in 1999-2000.
Since the defeat of Chechen insurgents, Russian authorities have been locked in a simmering conflict with Islamist militants from across the North Caucasus that has killed scores of civilians and police.

What happens next: Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had opened criminal probes into the attacks.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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