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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Man stabs seven at Moscow synagogue

A man stabbed seven others at a Moscow synagogue. The incident took place just before Wednesday’s evening service when the Bolshaya Bronnaya Synagogue in downtown Moscow was full of worshippers. The man, identified by police as Alexander Koptsev, 20, struck out at random before being pushed to the ground by Yitzhak Kogan, the shul’s rabbi, who had been stabbed, and his son. Koptsev is in police custody. One man was in critical condition and at least four others are in serious condition, medical officials said Wednesday night. Among those wounded were Russians, several Israelis, an American and a resident of Tajikistan. Witnesses said the attacker, who looked like a skinhead, shouted, “I came to kill you” as he went on the rampage. The floor of the synagogue was covered with blood stains. The shul is one of the oldest in Moscow and serves as the base of the Agudas Chasidei Chabad in Russia, a Lubavitch organization. Berel Lazar, one of Russia’s chief rabbis, demanded that Russian authorities react promptly to the incident.

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