The attack is not considered as a terrorist attack so far, police said.
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“The police has arrested a 26-year-old man from the Lipetsk region (south of Moscow) who had entered a church on the morning of February 16 and injured two people with a knife”, Irina Volk, the spokesperson for the Russian Interior ministry, told Russian press wires.
The attacker’s motive remains unknown so far.
The man entered the church during mass, the Russian TV channel Ren-TV reported, and was stopped by parishioners before the police arrived.
Kirill Sladkoov, the church’s priest, said the attacker wore glasses, a balaclava and rubber gloves, and was listening to music through his headphones.
“We went to him to see what was happening and to ask him to leave quietly”, the priest told Ren-TV. “At that moment, he took a knife and stabbed my assistant. After that, all my assistants who were there tried to stop him and he stabbed another of my colleagues twice.”
Knife attacks are relatively rare in Russia but several have occured in the country in recent years. A few of them were claimed by the Islamic State but the police did not officially investigate terrorism motives.
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