Russia opens terror probe after synagogues, churches attacked, priest and police killed

There are at least 9 dead and 25 injured in the latest report.

Published: June 23, 2024 1:49pm

Updated: June 23, 2024 6:16pm

Two Russian Orthodox churches, two synagogues and a traffic police station were attacked in the southern Russian region of Dagestan, and a priest and multiple police officers are dead, officials said Sunday. There are at least 9 dead and 25 injured in the latest report, according to CNN.  

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said Sunday in a post on Telegram that the attacks are being investigated as acts of terror.

Seven police officers and an unspecified number of civilians were killed, according to Russian outlet TASS. Several attackers were killed, but officials are searching for other militants.

Attackers also broke into the Orthodox church and slit the throat of a priest, killing him, according to local oversight official Shamil Khadulaev, Russian outlet RT reported.

One synagogue was reportedly set on fire during the attack.

Sergey Melikov, the head of the Republic of Dagestan, urged residents to remain calm, writing on Telegram, as translated: "Panic and fear are what these nonhumans were counting on in the first place."

The death toll may be significantly higher, as outlets Al Jazeera and Israel Hayom reported that at least five police officers were killed.

This is not the first time Dagestan has witnessed violence in recent months. Following the Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel, a large mob rushed the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of the majority-Muslim region of Dagestan, while yelling "Allahu Akbar" and hunting for Jews after a flight arrived from Tel Aviv.

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