Muslim theologian, three parishioners killed in Dagestan attack

Makhachkala, August 28, 2012, Interfax – A female suicide bomber blew herself up at the house of Sufi sheikh Said Atsayev (al-Chirkavi).

Early reports suggest that he was killed, a source from Dagestan’s law enforcement authorities told Interfax.

An attack by a female suicide bomber has killed three more people.

The house has been cordoned off, a team of investigators are working at the scene, he said.

Said Atsayev, born 1937, an authoritative Muslim Sufi scholar, was regarded as one of the spiritual leaders of Dagestan Muslims.

There have been numerous attacks on followers of the traditional Islam in Russia in recent years, mostly in its North Caucasus region where militants are operating

An imam from a mosque in Khasavyurt, Basir Salakhgereyev, was shot dead on November 1, 2010.

On December 15, 2010, it emerged that the chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kabardino-Balkaria, Anas Pshikhachev, had been killed in Nalchik.

In April 2011, imam Magomed Saipullayev was killed in the village of Yasnaya Polyana in Dagestan’s Kizlyar District. The imam had been receiving death threats for his condemnation of the insurgency, according to the National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

On June 7, head of the Institute of Theology and International Relations Maksud Sadikov and his nephew Zalimkhan Musayev were shot in Makhachkala. Sadikov was a well-known public and religious figure in Dagestan and a staunch advocate of a ban on Wahhabism.

On October 27, well-known clergyman Sirazhutdin Israfilov, better known as sheikh Sirazhutdin Khuriksky, was killed in Dagestan’s Tabasaransk district. He was regarded as one of the most authoritative religious figures of the Naqshbandi Tariqat (a branch of the Sunni Islam) in Dagestan and, according to various reports, had between several hundreds and several thousands of supporters, the Murids.

Stavropol Territory deputy mufti Kurman Ismailov was killed on February 13, 2012.

Tatarstan mufti Ildus Faizov was injured and his colleague Valiulla Yakupov killed in Kazan on July 19, 2012.

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