Dagestan: Unknown gunman shots people at Maslenitsa celebration

19 February, 2018, 07:28 | Author: Essie Rivera
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"At about 16:30 [13:30GMT], an unknown man opened fire using a hunting rifle", the regional internal affairs ministry statement said.

Russian news agency Tass reported that the gunman died after killing four worshippers and wounding four others in an attack in the town on Kizlyar.

Security services on duty nearby managed to shoot and kill the man, who was found with bullets and a knife on his person as well as the rifle.

Christians are a small minority in Dagestan, which is ethnically diverse and over 80 per cent Muslim, according to a 2012 census.

The assailant, who was identified as 22-year-old local resident Khalil Khalilov by the city administration, came right up to the victims before gunning them down. At least two more are in critical condition, while two police officers were also wounded.

The Russian RBK daily quoted an Orthodox priest as saying the attacker had opened fire on churchgoers after an afternoon service.

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Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman has condemned a deadly Daesh shooting incident in Russia's Dagestan region.

Islamist rebels from the region, which lies immediately east of Chechnya, are known to have travelled to Syria to join IS.

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But two separatist wars in Chechnya have spread to Dagestan.

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