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Deadly Attack at Church in Russian Region of Dagestan

Deadly Attack at Church in Russian Region of Dagestan

Earlier in the day, an individual opened fire in Kizlyar during celebration of folk holiday Maslenitsa, killing five people and injuring four others, including two law enforcement officers.

The perpetrator of the deadly shooting in the town of Kizlyar in Russia's Republic of Dagestan has been identified as a 22-year-old region's resident Khalil Khalilov, Kizlyar's administration said in a statement on Sunday.

The gunman was seen on surveillance video walking to the scene with a gun.

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Tass quoted Kizlyar's mayor, Alexander Shuvalov, on the number of people killed and injured in the attack. The local Interior Ministry, however, said the gunman had acted on his own, according to the Interfax news agency.

"There were a lot of people there, moms with little children, elderly people". A woman died at a nearby hospital after she was rushed there, according to the Dagestani Health Ministry. "A bearded man ran towards the church shouting "Allahu Akbar" ('God is greatest') and killed four people", Father Pavel told RBK.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, said he was "stunned" by the violence.

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova emphasized, however, that the five victims weren't Russian servicemen. They are not connected to the armed forces of the Russian Federation, " Peskov said in a conference call with journalists.

The gunman targeted worshippers at a Russian Orthodox church in the mainly Muslim region, although no motive has been established yet.

About 83 percent of the population of Dagestan adheres to Islam, according to a 2012 survey.

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