Several dead as gunmen attack synagogues, church and police station in Russia

Flames and smoke can be seen billowing out of a synagogue and church (Picture: East2West)

Several people have been killed including six police officers after gunmen opened fire on a synagogue, an Orthodox Church, and a police post in Russia.

The gunmen shot at a synagogue and church in Derbent, as well as a police post in Makhachkala, both in the Russian region of Dagestan, according to the Russian interior ministry.

So far 12 people have been wounded in the attacks and two of the attackers were killed.

There has also been reports from Russian news agencies that a priest was killed in the church.

The other attackers could be seen fleeing the scene in a car.

Russia’s national anti-terrorist committee said in a statement that a counter-terrorist operation is ongoing to search for gunmen in both Makhachkala and Derbent.

Derbent is home to a large Jewish community and pictures from the scene show flames and smoke billowing out from the synagogue and church.

Residents of Makhachkala, Dagestan, run for their lives as police chase attackers on the local beach (Picture: social media/e2w)

Several people are dead from the attack (Picture: social media/e2w)

The incident has taken place this evening (Picture: social media/e2w)

The police post attack in Makhachkala is located around 75 miles away from Derbent where gunshots were heard by eyewitnesses.

The synagogue in Derbent was set on fire as a result of the attack, according to Reuters news agency.

Head of the Republic of Dagestan Sergei Melikov said: ‘Tonight in Derbent and Makhachkala unknown people made attempts to destablise the public situation.

‘Dagestan police officers stood in their way. According to preliminary information, there are casualties among them. All services are acting in accordance with the instruction … The identities of the attackers are being established.’

Dagestan has previously seen separatist violence in the 1990s and 2000s and is home to a largely Muslim population.

But attacks like these in the area have been rare since and will have shocked the local community.

This is a developing news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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