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A man with an ax attempted to break into a synagogue in Mariupol, Ukraine Tuesday.

A security guard, Anatoliyoych Holomazov, confronted the man as he attempted to break into the synagogue and suffered a broken arm and a head injury. The guard managed to grab the ax away from the suspect, who fled the scene.

Police are searching for the attacker, who had previously thrown bags of feces and sand at the synagogue.

Rabbi Menachem Mendl Cohen, the Chief Rabbi of Mariupol, said following the attack that "it is a miracle that none of the worshipers were harmed."

"The guard is just a hero. Our community and I personally express our deepest gratitude to Richard Anatoliyoych Holomazov for protecting all those inside the building, putting his life at risk," Rabbi Cohen said.

The synagogue was nearly empty due to the coronavirus, but the rabbi and two other congregants were in the building at the time of the attack.

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