Police in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan have shot and killed a teenager after he attacked a police station with Molotov cocktails and injured one officer with a knife while calling the officers "enemies of Allah," authorities said Friday.
Police said officers chased after the suspect who threw at least two Molotov cocktails at the station’s parking lot shortly after midnight in the town of Kukmor. They opened fire after the suspect, identified only as a local resident born in 2004, drew a knife and wounded one of the officers, who is expected to recover.
“It's true that he threatened to kill everyone. He shouted [at the officers] that they are enemies of Allah,” the Tatarstan regional Interior Ministry's press service told the Daily Storm news website.
Russia’s Baza Telegram channel, which is believed to have links to Russia’s security services, identified the killed teenager as 16-year-old Vitaly Antipov. Baza and other Telegram news channels with purported links in the security services said Antipov allegedly posted a social media message ahead of the attack “calling for jihad.”
Tatarstan’s Spiritual Board of Muslims denied that the suspect had attended worship at any of its mosques, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Without naming the suspect, the regional education ministry spokeswoman said he was born in the Siberian republic of Altai and moved with his family 1,800 kilometers west to the republic of Bashkortostan, which neighbors Tatarstan.
Tatarstan police denied that they kept the suspect on an extremist watch list, RIA Novosti reported.
The Kremlin said it saw no links between what it called a criminal act in Tatarstan and Thursday's deadly knife attacks in France, which were followed by the arrest of at least one other man armed with a knife.
These attacks came amid the Muslim world’s condemnation of France and its President Emmanuel Macron over their defense of the right to blaspheme after a Chechen refugee beheaded a French teacher for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to students.
The Kremlin called Thursday’s knife attack at a church in Nice a “horrific tragedy” but stressed that it is also wrong to insult religious beliefs.
Protesters briefly gathered outside the French Embassy in Moscow on Thursday, with participants holding signs criticizing the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose staff members were killed in 2015 for publishing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, and shouting out “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is Great”).