Dagestan church shooting may be terrorist attack

Laura Christensen
February 20, 2018

An armed male fired using a hunting weapon on churchgoers departing a service the Russian area of Dagestan, murdering 5 individuals and wounding 4 others, police detective stated Sunday. Two officers are said to be among the injured.

According to a local official the assailant was a local man in his early twenties, the Interfax news agency reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Russian law enforcers were investigating alleged links between the gunman who attacked the Kizlyar church and extremist organisations in Dagestan.

A statement from the Islamic State group, posted Monday on an IS-affiliated militant website, claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying a Muslim fighter attacked "a Christian temple" in Kizlyar.

She said: "There were a lot of people there, mums with little children, elderly people". The gunman was shot dead by the police while trying to flee the scene. A bearded man ran towards the church shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) and killed four people. 'He was carrying a rifle and a knife'.

Falling temperatures to bring brief return to winter weather overnight
The NWS has put the entire listening area into a winter weather advisory again tonight from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. There is a chance of more precipitation late Thursday through Sunday , with a snow-freezing rain mix possible.

The Dagestan region has dealt with an Islamist insurgency that spread into the area following two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya.

The Russian Orthodox Church issued a statement that said its leader, Patriarch Kirill, believes the attack was meant to foment tension between Christians and Muslims.

Kizlyar is around 170 kilometres from Dagestan's capital Makhachkala and has a diverse population of 50,000 spanning 10 different ethnic groups.

Where is Dagestan? Dagestan borders Chechnya in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia.

Other reports by My Hot News

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