Shootout in the Russian Caucasus. A man has opened fire and killed five women in Kizliar, northern Dagestan , an unstable republic of the Caucasus, said Sunday the local Ministry of Internal Affairs. “A gunman fired a shotgun at Kizliar, fatally injuring four women,” the ministry statement said. “A resident, a policeman and a member of the Russian National Guard were also injured.” A fifth woman died of her injuries in the hospital, health ministry spokeswoman Zassina Mourtazalieva told TASS news agency.

This assessment was confirmed by the Russian Investigative Committee, which said in a statement open an investigation for “the killing of two or more people” and “attack on the lives of police.” The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.

A man with a beard ran to the church shouting “Allah Akbar”

The assailant was “eliminated” during an exchange of fire with the police, also said the local Ministry of Internal Affairs. This is a Kizliar resident born in 1995, told the Russian news agency Interfax Rassoul Temirbekov, deputy director of the local branch of the Investigation Committee.

According to Russian news agencies, citing unnamed sources, the man allegedly shot at worshipers of an Orthodox church in this predominantly Muslim region. Those present at the venue celebrated the end of the Russian Maslenitsa Festival, which marks the beginning of Lent for Russian Orthodox Christians.

“Today, around 4 pm, we had finished mass, people were starting to go out. A man with a beard ran to the church shouting “Allah Akbar” and fatally wounded four people, a priest told the Russian daily RBK. He had a rifle and a knife. ”

Neighboring Chechnya, Dagestan is one of the poorest and most unstable regions in Russia. It is the regular target of attacks sometimes claimed by the Islamic State group, to whom the Islamist armed rebellion in the Russian Caucasus has pledged allegiance in June 2015.