Time: 12:59 p.m. CEST
A gunman opened fire at the ancient citadel in Derbent, killed one person and injured 11 others on Tuesday, the New York Times reports. Derbent is a historic crossroads in the southern republic of Dagestan, which was in focus of recruiting by the Islamic State, as Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement on Wednesday. The Committee opened a criminal investigation.
The attack happened late Tuesday at UNESCO World Heritage site, which has walls dating to the sixth century. Interfax news agency quoted Ramazan Abdulatipov, the head of the republic, who said that the attack was most likely carried out by one of the “die-hard gangs or the militants who managed to survive and continue taking revenge on the peace and order enjoyed by Derbent residents.”
A group of citizens came under fire at about 11:30 p.m., the Committee, the agency similar to Federal Bureau for Investigation, said. “They came under fire from the nearby forest, news reports said, and one of two border guards in the group was killed, with four others seriously wounded,” the Times explain. According to Interfax, “more than 60 bullet cartridges were found in the forest.”
Dagestan experiences frequent violent attacks, while in the past year numerous leaders of insurgent groups shift their loyalty from Al-Qaida to the Islamic State militants. Derbent, among the oldest cities in Russia, long controlled all traffic passing between the Russian steppe and the Middle East because of its locations and connections to the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains.
Original reporting by: Neil MarcFarquhar