Two men stabbed one policeman to death and wounded another in Dagestan in Russia’s North Caucasus today before being shot dead by police in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. It was the second attack in Russia in 10 days claimed by IS after a man armed with an axe wounded seven in the Siberian city of Surgut on August 19. Russian investigators have said they are investigating both attacks as criminal incidents, despite the claims by IS.
The attackers used knives to stab the two police officers before being “eliminated” at a petrol station in the Caspian Sea town of Kaspiisk, the regional Investigative Committee said. IS later claimed responsibility through its Amaq propaganda agency, calling the assailants “soldiers of the Islamic State”. The claim came after a reporter on Rossiya 24 television quoted law enforcement sources as saying that one of the attackers had a black jihadist banner in his rucksack.
The reporter said it appeared to be “an attempt to repeat” recent stabbings in western Europe claimed by the jihadist group. An unidentified source also told the state TASS news agency that investigators found two knives and items with the IS logo.
Islamist rebels from Dagestan, which lies immediately east of Chechnya, are known to have travelled to join IS. In 2015, the group declared it had established a “franchise” in the North Caucasus. IS has claimed a number of attacks on police in Dagestan in the last couple of years that have involved guns and explosives as local security forces battle a simmering Islamist insurgency.