WATCH | Mob Chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Storms Airport in Russia’s Dagestan, Look for Jews, Israelis
A mob on Sunday stormed the airport in the Russian city of Makhachkala in Dagestan province after a rumour spread that a flight was arriving from Israel.
The mob carrying Palestinian flags accosted passengers they thought were from Israel or were Jews and demanded that if they are from Israel they should return to their nation.
Israel responded by saying that Russia must protect Israeli and Jewish citizens. The governor of Dagestan promised that those responsible for the incident would be punished.
There were several dozen protesters, many of them chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest), who broke through airport security, doors and barriers and some even ran onto the tarmac and protested before the aircraft they felt were carrying Israelis and Jews.
An unverified video shared by Visegrád 24 showed a man claiming to be from Uzbekistan speaking to a mob who were demanding to see his passport and phone.
Several local Telegram channels showed photos and videos of dozens of men waiting outside the airport to stop cars.
One protester could be seen in the videos holding a sign reading “Child killers have no place in Dagestan”. Other videos showed a crowd inside an airport terminal trying to break down doors as staff members tried to deter them.
The riots, according to the Guardian, may have been inspired by a number of posts on Telegram which said that a flight from Tel Aviv would be arriving that evening with refugees from Israel.
The mob also held placards with signs reading “We are against Jewish refugees”.
The Guardian report said that police stood by when hundreds of protesters surged into the airport’s main terminal. They entered restricted areas and demanded customs officials redirect arriving passengers towards the mob.
Their report also highlighted that followers of Utro Dagestan, one of the Telegram accounts that carries news mixed with conspiracy theories, were told to storm the airport and question the passengers and demand they denounce Israeli actions in Gaza.
The Telegram account called local people to follow Israeli who have arrived and take pictures of their vehicles and note down the addresses where they were staying.
Shortly after the incident, the Russian aviation agency Rosaviatsiya announced that the airport in Makhachkala was closed to incoming and outgoing flights and that security forces had arrived on site.
The authorities in a Telegram message said that the “situation is under control”. The Dagestani authorities said that some people were injured, but did not elaborate on how many or who had been hurt.
Late on Sunday Rosaviatsiya announced that the airport had been “freed” from the mob and would remain closed until November 6.