Japan stabbing attack: Several killed, children among injured | News | DW | 28.05.2019
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Japan stabbing attack: Several killed, children among injured

Two people, one of them a schoolgirl, have been killed in a mass stabbing attack in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo. Up to 17 more were injured in the rare violent crime. The attacker took his own life.

A man wielding knives in both hands attacked schoolgirls at a bus stop in Kawasaki on Tuesday before taking his own life, in a rare violent incident in Japan.

At least 17 people, mostly elementary schoolgirls from a Catholic school, were injured and three killed, including the attacker, in the rampage just outside Tokyo.

Read more: Japan's police braces for gang violence over Yakuza split

Authorities said the attacker stabbed himself and died after being detained by police. At least one of the other dead was a schoolgirl. 

The motive for the attack remains unclear. Witnesses told local media that a man in his 50s had approached a group of children at the bus stop with a knife in each hand shouting: "I will kill you."

The scene of the attack in Kawasaki

Police and rescue workers rushed to the scene

Japan PM sickened by attack

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was outraged by the attack. 

"It was an extremely harrowing incident in which many small children were victimized, and I feel strong resentment... I will take all possible measures to protect the safety of children."

The attack occurred as Abe hosted US President Donald Trump for a four-day visit. 

Trump said "all Americans stand with the people of Japan and grieve for the victims and their families."

Rare act of violence

Japan has one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the developed world, and stabbings are relatively rare. In 2018, a man was arrested in central Japan after stabbing one person to death and injuring two others aboard a bullet train. In 2010, more than a dozen people were stabbed on a school bus and a commuter bus in a Tokyo suburb.

"I cannot believe that something like this has happened," Kanako Hosomura, a housewife and mother of a 6-year-old son from the neighboring city of Yokohama, told a DW correspondent. 

"We always think that terrible things like this happen in other countries or only in the movies, but today shows us that it can happen to any child or family here as well," she said.

Julian Ryall contributed to this report from Japan.

cw,jm/msh (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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