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Attack on Orthodox churches reported in Dagestan

On June 23, militant gunmen launched attacks on two churches and two synagogues in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, Russia. Reports indicate that at least 25 people were killed, including four civilians, 19 police officers, and one priest, Father Nikolai Kotelnikov. Additionally, at least 46 people were injured.


The Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an Orthodox Church in Derbent, was set ablaze during what was Pentecost Sunday for the Russian Orthodox Church. The attackers, identified as Islamic terrorists, allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar.”

These assaults on Christian and Jewish places of worship occurred in the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan, near the borders with Georgia and Azerbaijan. In addition to the religious sites, a police station in the same area was also attacked that day.

Conflicting reports suggest that a second Orthodox church was targeted in the region’s capital, with some sources claiming around 40 hostages were taken.

Between five and six militants were killed; the others managed to escape.


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