Militants Launch Attacks On Churches And Synagogues In Russia

( – Russia has been relentlessly attacking Ukraine for the past two-plus years. Recently, however, it’s been experiencing attacks of its own. Islamic terrorists have been targeting religious establishments in recent weeks.

On Sunday, a series of coordinated attacks killed more than a dozen people in Russia’s Dagestan province. The area is home to a largely Muslim population, which has led to outbreaks of terrorism. Religious establishments are at the center of the attacks. A Derbent synagogue was burned down to the ground, according to a statement from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During that attack, the perpetrators killed local guards. Then, there was another attack on a Makhachkala synagogue, which was shot up. At the time, there were no worshippers in the synagogues and no deaths in the Jewish community.

It’s not just Jewish establishments that terrorists are hitting, either. Churches in the two cities were hit, too, and a priest was murdered, his throat slit, in Derbent. There, several civilians and at least 15 police officers died. All of the attackers were killed, too.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks, yet, but experts are cautioning that it’s premature to rule out any Islamic terrorists. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for a mass attack on a concert hall that killed 133 people just months ago, but Russia continued to point the finger at Ukraine. The country’s National Antiterrorism Committee has described the attacks as acts of terrorism.

Dagestan leader Sergei Melikov said the attacks were “an attempt to cleave apart [Russia’s] unity.” He noted that the priest who was killed had served the region for more than four decades.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, said that President Vladimir Putin had received reports on the attacks. He has yet to comment publicly on them. Kremlin politicians have been quick to point the finger at outside forces, including NATO and Ukraine, without evidence.

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