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Five dead in Russia church shooting, police kill suspect

The shooting took place Sunday evening in Kizlyar, a town of about 50,000 people on the border with Chechnya.

world Updated: Feb 18, 2018 22:49 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters, Moscow
Russia shooting,Russia church shooting,Dagestan region
The motive for the shooting was not immediately known.(AFP File Photo)

A man in Russia’s southern province of Dagestan shot into a crowd of people leaving a church on Sunday, killing five and injuring at least five others, Russian news agencies reported, citing the local health ministry.

The attack occurred in the village of Kizlyar in the Muslim-majority republic of Dagestan, agencies said.

The small republic in the Caucasus mountains borders Chechnya, where Moscow has led two wars against separatists and radical religious groups since the 1991 Soviet collapse and which has seen a large number of people join Islamic State.

Russian news agencies said the attack occurred as churchgoers celebrated Maslenitsa, a Christian holiday marking the last day before Lent according to the eastern Orthodox calendar.

The assailant was identified as a 22-year-old man local to the region, the TASS news agency said, citing the investigative committee.

He was shot and killed by security services who were on duty nearby, TASS said, adding that a hunting rifle, bullets and a knife were discovered on his person.

Initial reports suggested all five victims were women, TASS said, citing the local branch of the interior ministry.

The injured include two members of local security services and two civilians, also women, the Interfax news agency said.

First Published: Feb 18, 2018 21:18 IST