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Two synagogues attacked in Russia, one burned to the ground

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By JNS

A synagogue was reportedly set on fire  on Sunday in Dagestan, in southern Russia.

At least nine people have been killed and 25 injured in what appear to be coordinated attacks by gunmen in Russia’s southernmost Dagestan province, local authorities say. Attacks have been reported in churches, synagogues and a police traffic stop in the cities of Derbent and Makhachkala, which are about 75 miles apart.

According to the Russian state-run RIA Novosti, which cited the city’s internal affairs ministry, two “militants” were killed after the attacks, CNN reported.

“Attacks have been reported in a church and a synagogue in the city of Derbent and at a synagogue and police traffic stop in the city of Makhachkala,” per CNN. “Regional authorities say 12 law enforcement officers have also been wounded, though it is unclear in which city.”

“The synagogue in Derbent was set on fire with photos showing large flames and plumes of smoke billowing heavily out of a series of windows on at least one floor of the structure,” CNN reported.

“In what appears to be coordinated attacks that took place around the same time as those in Derbent, a synagogue and a police traffic post in Makhachkala also came under fire,” it added.

The Israeli foreign ministry referred to “a combined attack” on the synagogues in a statement.

“The synagogue in Derbent was set on fire and burned to the ground. Local guards were killed. The synagogue in Makhachkala was attacked by gunfire, there are no further details,” the ministry stated, per CNN. “As far as is known, there were no worshipers in the synagogues at the time of the attack, and there are no known casualties from the Jewish community.”

The citadel, ancient city and fortress buildings of Derbent are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“Archaeological excavations since the late 1970s have confirmed Derbent’s nearly 2,000 years of continuous history as urban settlement, the oldest in Russia and one of the most ancient in the region,” UNESCO states.

 

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