At least six people have been killed, following attacks by suspected Islamist militants, in northwestern Kazakhstan.
Suspected Islamist militants have killed six people in attacks on two gun shops and an army unit in north-western Kazakhstan, officials say.
Four of the attackers were killed in shootouts with police, but some managed to escape in the city of Aktobe. Police urged residents to stay indoors as a manhunt for the escaped militants is undertaken.
The attackers first targeted the shops, killing a vendor, a security guard and a visitor.
The gunmen then reportedly seized a bus to break through the gates of the army unit, killing three servicemen. At least nine soldiers were injured during the attacks.
Interior ministry spokesman Almas Sadubayev said the attackers were “followers of radical, non-traditional religious movements”. The phrase is usually used to describe Islamist militants.
Islamist attacks are rare in Kazakhstan. However Aktobe – which is near the country’s border with Russia – was the site of a suicide bombing in 2011, the first such case in Kazakhstan.