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Five killed in attack on church in Russia's Dagestan

19 February 2018

Two police officers and a woman were among the wounded, according to Shuvalov.

A shooting at a church in Russian Federation has left at least five people dead on Sunday, according to reports.

A group that calls itself the local wing of the Islamic State extremist group has claimed responsibility.

The assailant was identified as a 22-year-old man local to the region, the TASS news agency said, citing the investigative committee.

Interfax reports that five people have died as a result of the incident. Five women were killed after an attacker had opened fire on churchgoers following an afternoon service.

Four people died at the scene and a fifth victim died while being treated in hospital, a health ministry spokesman told the Russian TASS news agency.

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"We had finished the mass and were beginning to leave the church", Russian news organisation RBK Daily quoted a priest as saying. "He was carrying a rifle and a knife".

"As a result, four people were killed and four injured".

It was not immediately clear what motivated the shooting.

The branch has claimed a number of deadly attacks against security personnel in Dagestan.

The shooting took place in Russia's Muslim-majority Dagestan region which borders Chechnya.

Two wars for independence in Chechnya and widespread corruption have left the region destabilized.

Five killed in attack on church in Russia's Dagestan