MINSK (Reuters) - A young man armed with a chainsaw and a hammer entered a shopping center in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and killed a woman and wounded another on Saturday evening, a spokesman for city police said.

Such violence is rare in Belarus, which President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled with an iron fist since 1994, and it was not immediately clear what the attacker's motive was.

"When he took out a chainsaw, shoppers first thought it was some kind of game," Alexander Lastovsky, the police spokesman, told Reuters. He said the chainsaw and the hammer had been hidden in a guitar case which the man was carrying.

"Then he cut one woman badly with the chainsaw and hit her with a hammer. She died. He also attacked others."

At least one wounded woman was rushed to hospital, he said. The assailant was detained after one or two minutes, he said.

(Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)