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Coordinated Attacks in Southern Russia Leave Nine Dead, Including Seven Police Officers

A coordinated attack in southern Russia on Sunday left at least nine people dead, including seven law enforcement officers, when gunmen wielding automatic weapons targeted a synagogue and an Orthodox church in two cities in the Dagestan region, ABC News reported, citing the region’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.

At least 25 people were injured in the two attacks, according to Russian officials.

The first attack in Derbent, a city on the Caspian Sea, occurred around 6 p.m. local time. Multiple gunmen fired automatic weapons at a synagogue and an Orthodox church, then set both houses of worship on fire, the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee reported.

A second attack took place about 75 miles away in Makhachkala, also on the Caspian Sea, officials said.

An ongoing gun battle between police and the suspects continued Sunday night in Makhachkala, according to officials.

Witnesses reported seeing a Volkswagen Polo used by the suspects fleeing the scene of the Derbent attack, Russian officials stated.

In Makhachkala, gunmen opened fire on traffic police on one street, and a police car was set on fire on another, according to the TASS state-owned news agency.

Sergei Melikov, a leader in the Dagestan region, announced that an operational headquarters had been established in response to the attacks.

“This evening in Derbent and Makhachkala, unknown persons attempted to destabilize the social situation. Dagestan police officers stood in their way. According to preliminary information, there are victims among them,” Melikov said in his statement.

Melikov urged residents of Dagestan to remain calm.


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