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Russia: Priest, police officer killed as worshippers attacked

June 23, 2024

By Darya Tarasova and Jen Deaton, CNN

(CNN) — A priest and a policeman have been killed after gunmen armed with automatic weapons attacked a synagogue and a church on Sunday evening in the city of Derbent, in Russia’s southernmost Dagestan province.

A priest was killed in the attack on the church, according to the Dagestan Public Monitoring Commission Chairman, Shamil Khadulaev.

“According to the information I received, Father Nikolay was killed in the Church in Derbent, they slit his throat. He was 66-years-old and very ill,” Khadulaey said.

He also said a security guard at the church armed with only a pistol was shot. Additional priests have locked themselves in the church and are waiting for help, Khadulaev said.

Meanwhile, the synagogue is now on fire with large flames and plumes of smoke billowing heavily out of a series of windows on at least one floor of the structure.

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

Officials say they are working to clarify details on casualties.

There is also no word yet as to the status of the perpetrators.

This is a developing story. More to come.

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