UN chief condemns terror attacks in Russia’s Dagestan, 5 terrorists killed

UN chief condemns terror attacks in Russia’s Dagestan, 5 terrorists killed
In this grab taken from a handout footage released by the National Antiterrorism Committee on June 24, 2024, Russia’s FSB security service officers conduct an anti-terrorist operation in Dagestan. An operation against gunmen who attacked churches and a synagogue in Russia’s Muslim-dominated Dagestan region and killed at least 16 people is over, the national anti-terrorism agency said on June 24, 2024. (Photo by Handout / Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee / AFP)
Un chief condemns terror attacks in russia’s dagestan, 5 terrorists killed
In this grab taken from a handout footage released by the national antiterrorism committee on june 24, 2024, russia’s fsb security service officers conduct an anti-terrorist operation in dagestan. An operation against gunmen who attacked churches and a synagogue in russia’s muslim-dominated dagestan region and killed at least 16 people is over, the national anti-terrorism agency said on june 24, 2024. (photo by handout / russia’s national antiterrorism committee / afp)

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has condemned terror attacks against several churches and synagogues in Russia’s mainly Muslim Dagestan region, with the death toll now rising to at least 20.

Guterres, in a statement by his Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, on Monday, conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families, the people, and the Government of Russia, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

Gunmen using automatic weapons reportedly opened fire inside a Christian Orthodox church and synagogue in the city of Derbent on Sunday evening, killing an Orthodox priest.

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In what appeared to be coordinated attacks, terrorists also shot at traffic police who were on post in the city of Makhachkala, north of the Caspian Sea, and attacked another church nearby.

The assaults launched on Sunday come just three months after Islamic State group fighters killed more than 140 in a Moscow concert hall, the deadliest terror attack on Russia for almost 20 years.

Moscow said on Monday it had concluded an “anti-terrorist operation” and killed five of the assailants behind the coordinated attacks on Sunday evening in the cities of Makhachkala and Derbent.

The incidents also had echoes of the kind of insurgent violence that marred the North Caucasus during the 1990s and 2000s.

Russia has been a target for Islamic State terror in recent years, with the fundamentalist group opposing Moscow’s military support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and claiming to have set up a “franchise” in Russia’s north Caucasus

There were reported gun battles around the Assumption Cathedral in the city lasting for several hours. At least 15 police officers were among the dead together with four civilians.

Authorities in Dagestan said that at least six militants were also killed following the attacks, although no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The assault came just three months after an ISIL terrorist group affiliate known as ISIS-K, carried out one of the deadliest terror attacks on Russia soil in recent years, at the Crocus City Hall, in Moscow, killing more than 140.

Russian authorities said they were investigating if so-called sleeper cells were involved in coordinating the attacks, and Dagestan has reportedly declared three days of mourning.

“According to preliminary data, 15 law enforcement officers were killed, as well as four civilians, including an Orthodox priest,” Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said on Monday.

Five assailants had also been “liquidated”, it added, though it was not clear how many had been involved in the attack.

The Russian Orthodox Church said its archpriest Nikolai Kotelnikov, had been “brutally killed” in an attack on a church in the city of Derbent.

The National Antiterrorism Committee, which responds to mass attacks and is tasked with foiling terror plots, said Monday morning it had wrapped up its rapid response operation.

Terrorists killed…

Five people responsible for multiple gun attacks targeting churches and synagogues in Russia’s Dagestan region have been “eliminated”, said the authorities as the region began three days of mourning.