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Two Killed In Latest Violence In Northwestern Kazakhstan

The house (left) near Aqtobe after the explosion that killed one and injured another.
AQTOBE, Kazakhstan -- Two people have been killed in a shoot-out and explosion in Kazakhstan's northwestern city of Aqtobe, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kazakh Interior Ministry officials said unknown assailants shot at a group of police on the outskirts of Aqtobe and killed one policeman.

The attackers also detonated a bomb that destroyed a house and killed one unidentified person. A second person was injured by the blast.

Aqtobe Interior Ministry officials also said today that police found a gun and a large quantity of explosives during a search in the village of Kenkiyaq.

Two policemen were killed by unidentified attackers on July 1 in the village of Shubarshi, also in the Aqtobe region.

Earlier this week, Aqtobe Interior Ministry spokesman Almat Imanghaliev told journalists that on July 25 police shot dead a man suspected of involvement in the killing of a 22-year-old man two weeks earlier.

In May, Kazakhstan's first-ever suicide bomber, Rakhimzhan Makhatov, 25, blew himself up in the entrance to the Aqtobe branch of the National Security Committee. Three people were injured in the blast.

In February, a car exploded outside a prison camp in the Aqtobe region, causing minor damage.

The Kazakh authorities have repeatedly denied any link between the various incidents in Aqtobe.

Read more in Russian here and here