Assailants broke into a church and killed Father Nikolay and a security guard, according to the local authorities Nikolay Kotelnikov ©

An Orthodox priest was brutally murdered after two churches and a synagogue came under attack on Sunday in Russia’s southern region of Dagestan, Interior Ministry spokesperson Gayana Garieva has said.

The assailants reportedly broke into an Orthodox church in the city of Derbent and killed the archpriest, Father Nikolay Kotelnikov, by slitting his throat, Shamil Khadulaev, the head of the regional Public Oversight Committee, which monitors the observance of human rights in prisons, said on his Telegram channel.

A security guard named Mikhail who worked in the church was shot by the assailants. The man was only armed with a gas pistol, according to Khadulaev. Other clergymen have locked themselves in the church, waiting for help, he added.

The terrorists attacked the church on Pentecost Sunday, immediately after the evening service and shortly before the church was closed.

The priest who was killed was 66 years old and was seriously ill, according to Khadulaev. In the 1980s Father Nikolay was commissioned from the southern Russian city of Stavropol to Dagestan and served at Derbent’s Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He spent a total of 40 years serving there, and had a wife, three children and grandchildren, according to local media reports.

The priest also reportedly took part in the ceremony of delivering the ‘Holy Fire’ from Jerusalem to Russia. (RT)