Iran decries Daesh church shooting incident in Russia’s Dagestan

Press TV – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has condemned a deadly Daesh shooting incident in Russia’s Dagestan region.

On Sunday, a man in Russia’s southern province of Dagestan opened fire into a crowd of people leaving a church, killing five and injuring at least five others.

“The killing of innocent worshipers in holy places… is the mark of groups who would do anything to spread fear and hatred throughout the world,” said Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi early on Monday.

The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Telegram messaging app.

Russian news agencies said the attack occurred as churchgoers celebrated Maslenitsa, a Christian holiday marking the last day before Lent, according to the eastern Orthodox calendar.

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

He was shot and killed by security services who were on duty nearby, TASS said, adding that a hunting rifle, bullets and a knife were discovered on his person.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, said that he was “stunned” by the attack and called for a thorough investigation to be held over the incident.

“The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church considers this terrible crime, committed on the eve of the Great Lent, a provocation aimed at instigating confrontation between Orthodoxs and Muslims, who have been coexisting peacefully for ages in the Caucasus,” said his spokesman.