Gunmen have killed two policemen in Kazakhstan's financial capital Almaty, as authorities say they've launched an anti-terrorist operation.
The Interfax news agency, quoting a police source, said "a religious radical and probably a follower of non-traditional Islam", was on the rampage in central Almaty, opening fire from time to time.
Two witnesses told Reuters they heard shots in several areas in the centre of Almaty, the mainly Muslim country's biggest city.
"We saw a man with a rifle, he passed by," one shop worker said.
Police cordoned off several central streets, including the one near a local office of the KNB security police, where shots were also heard.
"I heard one shot, most probably fired from a pistol," said one man standing nearby.
At least one attacker had been detained by the police, the RIA news agency quoted a security source as saying.
It said several policemen had also been wounded.