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Religious sites attacked in Russia's Dagestan; priest, six policemen killed

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Moscow, July 23 (IANS) Two Orthodox churches, a synagogue and a traffic police station in Russia's Dagestan region were attacked on Sunday, leaving a priest and at least six policemen dead, reports said.

Two assailants were also killed in retaliatory action by police, RT reported.

The attacks took place in Makhachkala, the regional capital, as well as the city of Derbent.

Unidentified assailants opened fire on the religious buildings in Makachkala with automatic firearms before fleeing the scene in a vehicle, reports said.

A traffic police station in the centre of Makhachkala was also attacked, causing several casualties among police officials.

The police fatalities were reported from both Makhachkala and Derbent.

A 66-year-old Orthodox priest was killed in the attack on the church in Derbent. Earlier, a local public official claimed that the attackers had slit his throat.

The attack on the police officers in Derbent was caught on video and shared on social media. Loud gunfire can be heard in the clip, with several police cars seen parked down the street, as law enforcement officers retaliated against the assailants.

Gunfire could still be heard in central Derbent, according to witnesses. Local law enforcement officers were reportedly still engaged in a fight against the attackers near the Orthodox church.

--IANS

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