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Ex-convict kills six at Russia hunting shop

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

An armed former convict on Monday killed six people, including a 14-year-old girl, in a broad daylight shooting at a hunting shop in the Russian city of Belgorod, police said.

The man, apparently armed with a hunting rifle, killed three salespeople at the shop and two passers-by outside the premises in the southern city close to the border with Ukraine, regional police spokesman Yevgeny Kamalov told AFP from Belgorod.

Another woman was wounded in the head and died later in intensive care, the regional council based in Belgorod, around 700 kilometres (435 miles) south of Moscow, said in a statement.

The assailant, who police said was born in 1981, fled in a BMW which he then abandoned. The area around the shooting scene has been cordoned off by police.

The Moscow-based Investigative Committee named the assailant as Sergei Pomazun, a resident of Belgorod who had a theft conviction and was released from prison in 2012.

"Currently, an active search is going on to detain the suspect," regional police said in a statement.

Another regional police spokesman, Alexei Pomorov, said a group of investigators had been dispatched to the city from Moscow to assist with the investigation.

Police refused to speculate about the possible reasons for the shooting.

"We do not know whether it was a conflict because there's no-one we can ask: everyone's dead," Pomorov told AFP.

Belgorod mayor Sergei Bozhenov called an emergency meeting to address the shooting.

"Psychologists are working with relatives of those killed," the city council said in a statement, noting that all planned entertainment events were cancelled.

The families of those killed and wounded in the shooting will receive financial compensation, the council added.

Unlike in the United States, access to firearms is restricted in Russia and mass shootings are relatively rare.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130422/ex-convict-kills-six-at-russia-hunting-shop