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Armed attacker enters Moscow Synagogue

A man has broken into the Great Synagogue in Moscow during the Shabbat evening prayers on Saturday.

The attacker entered the Synagogue with a gun, perhaps a taser, and a cylinder of gas, asking to meet Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis.

When he entered the Synagogue, there were around 150 worshippers present.

Security removed him and attempted to hold him on the other side of the road, but he injured one of the guards, briefly escaping before being arrested by the police.

Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt commented “The evening prayer was conducted as usual, and we will conduct the High Holiday prayers as usual. We work in conjunction with the Moscow police, and I bless the entire Jewish people that they should be ‘signed and sealed’ for a good year”.

Additional security is being arranged for the High Holy Days. Incidents such at these highlight just how vulnerable Jewish communities continue to be to acts of terrorism and violence.