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Russian human rights activist says clergy can do more to fight terrorism than police

May 20, 17:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Mikhail Fedotov, interethnic and interreligious peace in the North Caucasus and in the rest of Russia depends on the unity of civil society

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MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. The clergy and the intellectual class can do more to uproot terrorism than police and special services, Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Russian president’s civil society and human rights council, said on Sunday, commenting on Saturday’s attack on a Christian church in Grozny.

"Such tragedies make us clearly see how fragile a human right to life is in conditions of the global terrorist threat. That is why we pin such big hopes on Orthodox and Moslem religious leaders: by appealing to human souls they can do much more to fight terrorism than police and special services. The same can be said about the intellectual class," the council’s website quoted him as saying.

According to Fedotov, interethnic and interreligious peace in the North Caucasus and in the rest of Russia depends on the unity of civil society.

Grozny church attack

On Saturday afternoon, a group of four people attempted to break into the Archangel Michael’s Church in Grozny, located on a busy street in the ceneter of the Chechen capital. This is the only Orthodox church in Grozny, founded in the late 19th century. It is a popular tourist site surrounded by shopping malls and cafes. A service was under way in the church at the moment of the assault.

The attackers, who carried smoothbore guns, knives, axes and plastic bottles with inflammable liquid, were unable to get inside the building. However, as a result of the attack, two police officers and one civilian were killed, two more officers were wounded. The four attackers were killed.

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