Russia: 5 Women dead in church shooting; ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY

Russian special force soldiers during an anti-terrorist operation in Makhachkala, the capital of the Southern Russian republic of Dagestan on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/NewsTeam, Abdula Magomedov)

Moscow — Russian media had reported that a gunman opened fire with a hunting rifle on churchgoers leaving a service in the Dagestan region, killing five women and wounding four others. Police then killed the shooter.

The shooting took place Sunday evening in Kizlyar, a town of about 50 000 people on the border with Chechnya. The shooting is an apparent radical Islamist attack on an Orthodox church in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan.

The gunman opened fire at worshipers at the church in the town of Kizlyar in the mainly Muslim region, local press reports said.

In a statement the regional internal affairs ministry said the gunman used a hunting rifle that killed four women on the spot, while the attacker was “eliminated”.

The firth women died on the way to the hospital due to her injuries.

A Orthodox  priest was quoted by Russian RBK daily that the shooting occurred during the Afternoon service,

“We had finished the mass and were beginning to leave the church. A bearded man ran toward the church shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [‘God is greatest’] and killed four people,” Father Pavel told RBK.

“He was carrying a rifle and a knife,” he added.

Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim region between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea. Following two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya, an Islamist insurgency spread to Dagestan.

Photo Credit-Al Arabiya

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