Japan attack: Child among three dead in Kawasaki stabbing

BBC:  A group of schoolchildren waiting for a bus have been attacked by a knife-wielding man in a Japanese city just south of Tokyo.

At least 18 people were injured on a residential street in Kawasaki. Two of them, a 12-year-old girl and a 39-year-old man, are dead.

A suspect, a man in his 50s, reportedly stabbed himself in the neck and was later detained. He has now also died from his injuries.

The motive for the attack is unknown.

Sixteen of those injured are said to be schoolgirls, according to news site Kyodo.

Police responding to the incident recovered two knives at the scene, said NHK.

A spokesman for the Kawasaki Fire Department told AFP news agency that an emergency call was received at 07:44 local time on Tuesday (22:44 GMT Monday) stating that a number of schoolchildren had been stabbed.

A school bus driver told NHK that he had seen the suspect approach a queue of students who were reportedly waiting to board their bus to the nearby Caritas private school in a residential area in Kawasaki.

The suspect began stabbing the children and then boarded the bus and stabbed children inside as well, the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo reports.

A male eyewitness told NHK: “I saw a man lying near a bus stop bleeding.”

“I also saw elementary schoolchildren lying on the ground… It’s a quiet neighbourhood, it’s scary to see this kind of thing happen,” he added.

The deceased man sustained four neck wounds, according to local reports.

Footage broadcast on local news stations showed emergency services arriving at the scene – near the Noborito First Park – and setting up medical tents to treat the wounded.

US President Donald Trump, who is in Japan on a state visit, offered his “prayers and sympathy” to the victims.

Japan has one of the world’s lowest rates of violent crime but in recent years has experienced a handful of attacks involving knives.

In 2016, 19 people at a care centre for people with mental disabilities were stabbed by a former worker. He reportedly said he wanted those with disabilities to “disappear”.

Eight students were killed in a 2001 attack after a man entered an elementary school in Osaka and began stabbing students.

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