Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 25, 2024

Deadly Attack in Dagestan Blamed on Extremists Despite Initial Claims

At least 20 people were killed in coordinated attacks on religious sites and a police checkpoint in southern Russia's Dagestan region.

The assaults, which involved multiple locations and resulted in significant casualties, were initially blamed on the West by local officials but later tied to radical local elements.

According to Daily Mail, the attack took place yesterday, targeting multiple religious sites and a police checkpoint in Dagestan. Casualties included 15 law enforcement officers, three civilians, and a priest, Father Nikolai Kotelnikov.

Attack Involves Widespread Locations

Dozens more were hospitalized with injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to burns. Despite initial claims from local authorities, the attack was tied to radical local elements.

Regional governor Sergei Melikov and Dagestan MP Abdulkhakim Gadzhiyev initially suggested that Western countries might have orchestrated the attack. However, investigations led to the arrest of Magomed Omarov, head of the Sergokalinsky district in Dagestan, whose sons were involved.

Omarov admitted during interrogation that his sons harbored extreme ideas yet claimed to have had no recent contact with them. The involvement of a mixed martial arts fighter associated with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s gym was also noted.

Religious Sites Targeted

The attack spread across multiple locations, including Makhachkala, Derbent, and surrounding areas. Footage of the violence and its aftermath quickly spread via Telegram.

Synagogues and Orthodox churches were set ablaze, with Derbent's only synagogue, a vital religious site, being burned. Firefighters were ordered to leave the burning synagogue due to a terrorist threat inside.

Governor Melikov declared the situation under the control of law enforcement. Investigations are ongoing to uncover all militant cells in the region.

Condolences and Calls for Action

Dmitry Rogozin, the former Russian deputy premier, dismissed claims of Western involvement and warned against attributing every act of terror to foreign interference. Khabib Nurmagomedov expressed condolences but did not reference the implicated MMA fighter. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow called for measures to prevent religious radicalization.

Previous incidents of anti-Semitic events in Dagestan were recalled, including a mob storming Makhachkala airport. The region has seen a history of Islamist attacks. ISIS-K, responsible for a recent

Moscow concert hall massacre with 145 fatalities, was also mentioned. The global activities of ISIS-K, including a notable 2021 attack in Kabul and a January 2024 UN report on their regional network, were highlighted.

MP Abdulkhakim Gadzhiyev hinted at Western involvement, while Dmitry Rogozin cautioned against blaming every act of terrorism on foreign entities. Mixed reactions from local and national figures illustrated the complexity of the situation.

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About Ashton Snyder

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