Coordinated Attacks Kills at Least 15 Police Officers

Derbent, Russia – A coordinated attack on Sunday in southern Russia resulted in the deaths of nineteen people, including fifteen law enforcement officers. Gunmen armed with automatic weapons opened fire on a synagogue and an Orthodox church in two cities miles apart in the Dagestan region, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Russian officials have reported that at least 25 people were injured in the attacks.

The first attack took place in Derbent, a city on the Caspian Sea, at approximately 6 p.m. local time. Multiple gunmen launched a barrage of gunfire at the synagogue and the Orthodox church, before setting both houses of worship on fire, according to the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee.

Another attack occurred about 75 miles away in the city of Makhchkala, also along the Caspian Sea.

In Makhchkala, gunmen opened fire on traffic police on one street, while a police car was set ablaze on another, according to the TASS state-owned news agency.

An ongoing gun battle between the police and the suspects is currently taking place in Makhchkala, officials have confirmed.

Authorities believe that the suspects in the Derbent attack fled the scene in a Volkswagen Polo, as witnessed by several individuals.

The region’s leader, Sergei Melikov, stated that an operational headquarters has been established in response to the attacks. Melikov called on the residents of Dagestan to remain calm in the wake of the incidents.

The motives behind the attacks are not yet clear, and investigations are ongoing.