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Priest and eight others killed in attacks in Russia’s Dagestan region, authorities say

Seven police officers, a security guard and a priest were killed in what appear to be coordinated attacks by armed men in Russia’s southernmost province of Dagestan.

Attacks were reported on a church and a synagogue in the city of Derbent and in a police raid in the city of Makhachkala. Regional authorities say 12 police officers were injured, although it is not clear in which city.

Two “militants” were also killed following the attacks, RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing Dagestan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The priest was murdered in the attack on the church, according to the chairman of the Dagestan Public Monitoring Commission, Shamil Khadulaev.

“According to the information I received, Father Nikolay was killed in the church in Derbent, his throat was cut. He was 66 years old and very sick,” Khadulaey said.

The authority also highlighted that a church security guard armed with a pistol was shot. Authorities later confirmed that he had died. Other priests have locked themselves in and are waiting for help, he added.

Additionally, a fire was reported at the synagogue, with large flames and clouds of smoke billowing from a series of windows on at least one floor of the structure.

At least one police officer was killed and another was injured in the attacks, according to preliminary information from the duty officer of Dagestan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Authorities say they are working to clarify details about the victims.

There is also no information about criminals.

Police blitz was also attacked

In addition to the incidents at religious sites, a police raid in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, was also attacked, in what appears to be a coordinated attack.

At least one police officer was injured in the attack in Makhachkala, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The head of the Republic of Dagestan, Sergey Melikov, published a message on Telegram saying that “unknown people tried to destabilize the social situation. Dagestani police officers were in their way. According to preliminary information, there are victims among them.”

Melikov said they are working to identify the attackers. Furthermore, an operational headquarters has been set up and a plan for the “interception” operation is underway.

He urged citizens to remain calm, stressing: “Panic and fear are what they were wanting… They won’t get that from the Dagestanis!”

The Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee for the Republic of Dagestan noted that it has initiated an investigation into the attacks under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

“All the circumstances of the case and the people involved in the terrorist attacks are being established, and their actions will receive a legal assessment,” highlights the board’s statement.

Source: CNN Brasil

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