Shooting in Dagestan: ‘provocation’ or ISIS attack?
According to investigators, the attacker who shot five women as they were coming out of an Orthodox church in Dagestan on 18 February was a resident of Kizlyar and was born in 1995.
“While being detained, he wounded two law enforcement agents and was killed,” the Investigative Committee of Russia says.
The man shot four women and wounded one who later died in hospital. Five other people were wounded with various degrees of severity.
Twenty-two-year-old Dagestani Khalil Khalilov joined IS [Islamic State, ISIS] one year ago, RBK reports, citing sources in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the government of Dagestan.
These sources denied information that appeared earlier stating that there were two shooters, and that Khalilov was accompanied by his wife who later managed to escape the scene.
IS has already taken responsibility for the attack in Kizlyar but has not provided any proof. Evidence of this has so far not been received from any independent sources.
The head of the church says that a man ran up to the doors and screamed ‘Allah-u akbar’ and was armed with a gun and knife, reports Meduza.
Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, believes that the event was a ‘provocation’.
His press secretary Aleksandr Volkov said:
“The head of the Russian Church assesses this awful crime on the threshold of lent as a provocation meant to bring about conflict between the Orthodox Christians and Muslims who have lived for centuries in peace and harmony in the Caucasus.”