MAKHACHKALA, Russia – A gunman shot and wounded a rabbi in Russia's predominantly Muslim province of Dagestan in what officials on Thursday described as a hate crime.
Rabbi Ovadia Isakov was shot by the unknown gunman late Wednesday as he left the car and was walking home in Derbent, a city on the Caspian Sea, said Rasul Temirbekov, spokesman for the Investigative Committee in Dagestan.
The 40-year-old rabbi was taken to an intensive care unit with a gunshot wound, undergone surgery and was then released home, the Itar-TASS news agency said quoting local Jewish community leader Shimi Dibiyayev.
Dibiyayev said the surgery went well and Isakov is "in a good condition now." Attacks on Jews in Derbent are unprecedented, Dibiyayev said.
Derbent, which claims to be the oldest city in Russia and has archeological heritage over 5,000 years old, is a multi-ethnic city relatively untouched by Muslim insurgency raging in other parts of Dagestan.
Dagestan's President Ramazan Abdulatipov condemned the attack and said that perpetrators of hate crimes "have no place in Dagestani society."