2018-02-21 11:25:00

Clergy could do for countering terrorism in Dagestan more than security services - human rights council head

Moscow, February 21, Interfax - Mikhail Fedotov, the chair of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, at an offsite meeting in Dagestan on Tuesday noted the clergy's role in maintaining interethnic and interfaith peace in the North Caucasus due to an attack on Orthodox Christian churchgoers in Kizlyar on February 18.

"It's good that we have talked about the recent tragedy with members of the Orthodox and Islamic clergy. The preservation of interethnic and interfaith peace in Dagestan and the North Caucasus in general depends on them the most. They could do for fighting the terrorist threat much more that security services and law enforcement agencies, because they appeal to the people's souls," Fedotov said.

During a visit to Kizlyar, members of the council met with Bishop Varlaam of Makhachkala and Grozny, laid flowers on the site, where five women had been killed in the shooting, and talked with their relatives.

An armed criminal opened fire on churchgoers in Kizlyar on Sunday. Five women were killed in the attack. Another four were hospitalized. The criminal was killed. The incident occurred during the celebration of Maslenitsa, an eastern Slavic religious holiday, and its victims could have been parishioners of a local Orthodox church.