Dagestan church shooting leaves four dead in Kizlyar

Dagestan shooting

Five women were killed after an attacker had opened fire on churchgoers following an afternoon service.

Tass quoted Kizlyar's mayor, Alexander Shuvalov, on the number of people killed and injured in the attack.

Two police officers walk near the building of the confectionery factory "Menshevik" in Moscow, Russia, where a gunman earlier opened fire, on December 27, 2017. Among the wounded are two members of the security forces. Authorities are questioning the man's wife about the shooting.

The Daesh terror group claimed responsibility for the attack via the Telegram messaging app.

"I believe God saved us, not allowing the man to get inside the church".

"He was carrying a rifle and a knife", he added.

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"A soldier of Islam, Khalil Daghestani, attacked" a church in the town of Kizlyar in Dagestan", IS said via the Telegram messaging app.

Initial reports suggested all five victims were women, TASS said, citing the local branch of the interior ministry.

There was no immediate indication on the motive for the shooting.

Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim region between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea close to Georgia.

Two wars for independence in Chechnya and widespread corruption have left the region destabilized.

Russian President Vladimir Putin fired, three months ago, head of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov and appointed Vladimir Vasilyev.

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