State media say two top provincial officials in northern Vietnam have been shot dead by a fellow official in a rare shooting in the communist country.

The Tuoi Tre newspaper reported that the head of the Communist Party organization in Yen Bai province and the chief of the provincial legislature were shot dead in their offices Thursday by Do Cuong Minh, chief of the provincial forest protection bureau, who then killed himself by a shot to the head.

The newspaper said the shooting took place before the opening of a meeting of the provincial legislature.

The cause of the shooting is under investigation.

Such shootings are rare in Vietnam where guns are strictly controlled.