A bomb has exploded in a mosque in the town of Khasavyurt in Russia’s southern Republic of Dagestan, injuring several people. The blast came after two gunmen opened fire in the mosque, wounding eight.
The bomb detonated as police were trying to diffuse a separate explosive device. Authorities say there were two bombs altogether, and the second is currently being dismantled by minesweepers.
There have been no reports of damage to the building, and it is unclear how many people were injured in the blast.
Police found what they suspected to be an explosive device at the mosque after two gunmen opened fire on worshippers.
“The criminals placed an explosive device that appeared to be a gas cylinder connected to wires in the mosque and sped off in a silver car,” a law enforcement source told Interfax news agency.
“At 20:55 Moscow time on Hamidov Street two armed, unknown men stormed a Shiite mosque after evening prayers and opened fire on the congregation,” the Head of the Investigative Committee of Dagestan said.
He said that six victims had been taken to the central city hospital in Khasvyurt, adding that two of them were in critical condition. However, a representative of the republic’s interior ministry later said the number of victims had risen to eight. The majority of the victims were young people, specifically those “born in 1986-1992.”
No motive for the attack has been established, and police are currently looking for the suspects.