Hundreds of people have stormed the Makhachkala International Airport (MCX) in the southern Russian Republic of Dagestan yesterday, to protest the arrival of a flight from Tel Aviv, Israel.
Scores of people stormed past the security and proceeded on to the main runway of the Dagestan main airport, surrounding an aircraft which belonged to the Russian airline Red Wings.
Several passengers and bystanders took to social media with footage revealing the extent of the airport incursion by the angry protesters.
Concerned passengers were forced to take shelter in the aircraft amid the mass commotion on the tarmac areas.
Red Wings flight stormed by protestors
The Russian National Guard and Security Forces subsequently stormed the tarmac and hard standing area at Makhachkala Airport, and conducted large-scale arrests of any of the rioters who did not leave the facility.
The Supreme Mufti of the Republic of Dagestan Sheikh Akhmad Afandi called on citizens to stop the civil unrest at the airport, urging restraint.
“As for today’s action: you are mistaken. This issue cannot be resolved in this way. We understand and perceive your indignation very painfully. But you can’t stop such options. We will solve this issue differently. Not with rallies, but accordingly. Maximum patience and calm for you,” he said.
According to Al Jazeera, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently issued a statement on Sunday night saying:
“Israel expects the Russian law enforcement authorities to protect the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews wherever they may be and to act resolutely against the rioters and against the wild incitement directed against Jews and Israelis”.
It is understood that the Dagestan airport was cleared of unauthorized persons late on Sunday evening, but the airport would tentatively remain closed to aircraft arrivals until November 6.
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