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15 policemen civilians killed gunmen Russia southern Dagestan region What we know so far

Armed militants attack churches and synagogue in Dagestan, killing priest and police officers. Authorities declare days of mourning in region.

In a tragic and devastating series of events, armed militants launched a brutal attack on two Orthodox churches, a synagogue, and a traffic police post in the southern republic of Dagestan, Russia. The violence resulted in the deaths of a priest and at least six police officers, with more than 15 policemen and several civilians losing their lives in the senseless act of terrorism.

Governor Sergei Melikov of Dagestan confirmed the heartbreaking news in a video statement released early Monday, expressing his sorrow over the loss of life in the region. The attackers targeted places of worship and law enforcement facilities in two cities, causing chaos and destruction in their wake.

The National Anti-Terrorist Committee labeled the assaults as terrorist acts, highlighting the ongoing threat of armed militancy in the predominantly Muslim area. The governor announced that six perpetrators were neutralized in response to the attacks, but the toll of the violence was already staggering.

The city of Derbent saw a group of armed men unleash gunfire on a synagogue and a church, resulting in both buildings catching fire and sustaining significant damage. Simultaneously, reports emerged of another attack on a church and a police post in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, further escalating the crisis.

Authorities swiftly initiated a counter-terrorist operation to address the escalating situation, with casualties mounting as the violence unfolded. Conflicting reports emerged regarding the number of victims, with various sources citing different figures for the fatalities and injuries sustained during the attacks.

Despite the devastation wrought by the militants, no group has claimed responsibility for the heinous acts, leaving the community in shock and mourning. Law enforcement agencies have launched a thorough investigation into the incident, focusing on identifying and apprehending those responsible for the violence.

In a disturbing development, reports surfaced of a Dagestani official being detained due to his sons' alleged involvement in the attacks, underscoring the complexity and gravity of the situation. As the region grapples with the aftermath of the tragedy, the days of mourning declared by the authorities serve as a somber reminder of the fragility of peace and the ever-present threat of terrorism.

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