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Blast Kills One In Western Kazakhstan

The Atyrau Oblast governor's office was immediately evacuated after an explosive device detonated nearby.
ATYRAU, Kazakhstan -- Two explosions have rocked Kazakhstan's western city of Atyrau, killing a suspected suicide bomber, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The Atyrau Oblast Prosecutor's Office press service told journalists that the first explosion took place on October 31 at 8.45 a.m. in Qulmanov Street in the Caspian port city, and the second at 9.50 a.m. in the central Saryarqa district.

One man died in the second blast. It is not clear if he intended to commit a suicide attack, or detonated the explosive device by accident. It is also not known whether he planted or detonated the first explosive device.

Prosecutors said the unidentified man "used an explosive device, as a result of which he died on the spot," while local media identified him as a suicide bomber.

Local newspaper "Aq Zhaiyq" wrote that the first explosion took place near the building housing the Atyrau Oblast governor's office, which was immediately evacuated.

A correspondent with "Aq Zhaiyq" was detained by police after she took pictures of the city police department building near the site of one of the blasts. She was later released.

The territory where the blasts took place is cordoned off by police, and nobody is allowed to enter.

Bombing attacks have been rare in Kazakhstan, but in May, two explosions including the country's first known suicide bombing killed at least two people.

Today's blasts come a week after a video clip was posted on YouTube in which a previously unknown Islamist group demanded Kazakhstan repeal a new law banning daily prayers on the premises of branches of government.

In the clip, one of five masked fighters toting Kalashnikovs and a grenade launcher warned Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev and the country's authorities that they will take "appropriate measures" unless the law is repealed

Read more in Russian here