(JNS.org) The Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and chief rabbi of Derbent in the Republic of Dagestan was shot near his home and remains in serious but stable condition after undergoing emergency surgery. Rabbi Ovadia Isakov, 40, was leaving his car after having performed the ritual slaughter for kosher meat when he was shot, sustaining a gunshot wound to his right lung and liver.
Initial conflicting reports indicate that there were between one and three assailants who escaped from the crime scene. Rabbi Isakov’s Jewish appearance “is among the possible motives investigators are considering for the attack,” said Russia’s Investigative Committee in a statement, according to Chabad.org.
Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim Russian territory bordering Azerbaijan. The attack was condemned by the acting head of the region and blamed on “extremists and terrorists.”
Israeli Army Radio reported the attack was most likely criminal, not terrorist. Israeli doctors and medical assistants were on their way to assist with Rabbi Isakov’s treatment.