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Seven Dead In Blast, Shootings In Kazakhstan

Seven people were killed today in the southern Kazakh city of Taraz when a suspected Islamist went on a shooting rampage and then blew himself up.

Kazakhstan's deputy prosecutor Nurmukhanbet Isaev said the dead included five members of the security forces and that the attack was carried out by "a follower of jihadism."

The Interior Ministry said earlier that the man had attacked a weapons store in Taraz, stole two Saiga rifles, and killed a security guard.

He then escaped in a vehicle, shooting dead two police officers as he tried to flee.

When finally apprehended, the gunman detonated his charge, killing himself and a traffic policeman.

The attack comes after a suspected extremist accidentally blew himself up in the western Kazakh city of Atyrau on the Caspian Sea on October 31.

An Islamist group, Jund al-Khilafah (Soldiers of the Caliphate), said it was behind that incident and another blast that took place on the same day in Atyrau.

compiled from agency reports