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2 party officials dead in rare Vietnam shooting

HANOI, Vietnam – Two senior communist officials were shot dead by a colleague at their offices in northern Vietnam, state media reported on Thursday, August 18, a rare high profile gun homicide in the country.

Northern Yen Bai province's most senior official, party chief Pham Duy Cuong and head of the provincial people's council Ngo Ngoc Tuan, were gunned down by a senior forest ranger Do Cuong Minh, Tuoi Tre newspaper said.

The two officials were shot multiple times and were pronounced dead after they reached hospital, the report added.

The official Vietnam News Agency said the shooter committed suicide with his own gun.

No reason has yet been given for the slayings.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc rushed to the province immediately after the shooting.

He said the incident was "especially serious and had never happened anywhere in Vietnam", according to the government's website.

Unlike many of its regional neighbours such as Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, gun are hard to get hold of Vietnam and gun homicides are rare.

Private ownership of guns is banned and the black market for weapons is limited. – Rappler.com