Five women killed in Dagestan church shooting claimed by Daesh

Five women were shot dead in an apparent radical militant attack on an Orthodox church in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, as Daesh claimed responsibility for the assault. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Five women killed in Dagestan church shooting claimed by Daesh

MOSCOW: Five women were shot dead in an apparent radical militant attack on an Orthodox church in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan on Sunday, as Daesh claimed responsibility for the assault.
An unidentified gunman fired at worshippers at the church in the town of Kizlyar in the mainly Muslim region, local press reports said.
The regional internal affairs ministry said in a statement that the assailant used a hunting rifle, and that four women were killed on the spot, while the attacker was “eliminated.”
A fifth woman died of her injuries in hospital, health ministry spokeswoman Zalina Mourtazalieva told TASS news agency.
Two Russian police officers were injured in the attack.
According to a local official the assailant was a local man in his early twenties, the Interfax news agency reported.
The Russian RBK daily quoted an Orthodox priest saying the attacker had opened fire on churchgoers following an 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.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
“A soldier of Islam, Khalil Daghestani, attacked” a church in the town of Kizlyar in Dagestan,” Daesh said via the Telegram messaging app.
“He targeted them with his gun, killing five of them and wounding four others,” it added.
A spokesman for Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill strongly condemned the attack, branding it a “monstrous crime” aimed at “provoking a confrontation between Orthodox Christians and Muslims” in the North Caucasus.
Images published by the local press showed the body of a bearded man dressed in military fatigues who was identified as the assailant.
Next to his corpse lay two of his victims, covered in a white shroud.
Dagestan, bordering Chechnya, is one of the poorest and most unstable regions of Russia. Rebels from the region, which lies immediately east of Chechnya, are known to have traveled to Syria to join Daesh.
In 2015, Daesh declared it had established a “franchise” in the North Caucasus.
It has claimed a number of attacks on police in Dagestan in the last couple of years that have involved guns and explosives, as local security forces battle a simmering extremist insurgency.
Sunday’s shooting comes exactly one month before the March 18 presidential election that Vladimir Putin is almost guaranteed to win.


Ex US senators warn of ‘constitutional crisis’ under Trump

Updated 11 min 54 sec ago
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Ex US senators warn of ‘constitutional crisis’ under Trump

  • Special counsel Robert Mueller probes whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to tilt the 2016 election in his favor, and a soon-to-be Democrat-led House starts launching related investigations
  • Trump was directly implicated in ordering payments to alleged ex-lovers — which prosecutors believe sought to influence the outcome of the election

WASHINGTON: Forty-four former US Senators from both major US parties warned Monday of threats to US democracy under President Donald Trump, and a “constitutional crisis” for America.
They said the convergence of events — as special counsel Robert Mueller probes whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to tilt the 2016 election in his favor, and a soon-to-be Democrat-led House starts launching related investigations — made for highly precarious political waters.
The 44 include Democrats such as Bill Bradley and John Kerry and Republicans such as Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Richard Lugar, and they paint the situation ominously as a constitutional crisis.
“It is our shared view that we are entering a dangerous period, and we feel an obligation to speak up about serious challenges to the rule of law, the Constitution, our governing institutions and our national security,” the ex-lawmakers wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece Monday.
“We are at an inflection point in which the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld,” they wrote.
And “at other critical moments in our history, when constitutional crises have threatened our foundations, it has been the Senate that has stood in defense of our democracy. Today is once again such a time,” the group stressed.
They urged current and future members of the US Senate to make sure that “partisanship or self-interest not replace national interest.” Bipartisan cooperation has plunged with Trump in power.
How lawmakers in both houses of Congress handle the crisis will be key to how the nation handles Trump’s being its first sitting president implicated in a felony.
Referred to as “Individual-1,” Trump was directly implicated in ordering payments to alleged ex-lovers — which prosecutors believe sought to influence the outcome of the election.