ISIS Claims Deadly Attack On Churchgoers In Russia

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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A lone gunman opened fire on a crowd of people as they left church Sunday, killing five and injuring several others.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in Kizlyar in the Muslim-majority province of Dagestan in southern Russia. ISIS has carried out a number of attacks on security personnel in the region.

The assailant was identified as 22-year-old Khalil Khalilov, a local resident. Armed with a knife and a hunting rifle, as well as extra ammunition, the attacker reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” before pumping rounds into his victims, a priest told local media, according to the New York Times. In its official statement, ISIS identified the attacker as Khalil al-Degestani.

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The churchgoers were leaving a worship service celebrating Maslenitsa, a traditional pre-Lent festival for Russian Orthodox Christians, when the so-called “soldier of the caliphate”opened fire. Four women were killed at the scene, and a fifth passed away at the hospital, BBC reported.

Security personnel shot and killed the attacker, ending the assault.

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