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Pupils die in Japan knife massacre
Friday, 8 June, 2001, 04:55 GMT 05:55 UK
Source Website

A man armed with a knife has gone on the rampage at an elementary school in Ikeda, a suburb of Osaka, about 500 km (310 miles) west of Tokyo.

Officials quoted by the AFP news agency said eight children were killed. More than 20 others were hurt, along with several teachers.

Police say they have detained a man. There has been no word on a possible motive for the attack.

Japan map

Fire department official Tetsuo Higashimoto said two children were killed immediately.

The others died later in hospital.

Police official Toshihiko Ajisaka said 23 children and three teachers were injured.

It is believed the children were aged six or seven.

The injured have been taken to local hospitals. At least one boy and one teacher were undergoing emergency surgery, and were said to be critically ill.

Police said the 37-year-old attacker used a knife with a 15cm (six inch) blade. He was arrested at the scene, but was also injured and taken to a local hospital.

Anxious parents have been arriving at the school. The uninjured pupils have been led to safety on the school's playing fields.

Police officials said the stabbings occurred shortly after classes began at the school, which caters for children up to the age of 12.

Witnesses described how a woman with bloodstains on her blouse ran into a nearby supermarket calling for help.

"There was quite an uproar at the school, then ambulances and fire trucks started arriving," one local resident told public broadcaster NHK.

The attack is unprecedented in Japan. Note:  Japan's suicide rate surpasses that of the U.S. Their mafias and organized gangs have an international reputation for being brutal, and for getting treated with kid gloves by the law enforcement folks. Only the police and military are legally allowed to own firearms, but there are plenty of guns to be had among criminals. And now we have a mass public slaying where more kids were killed than in any gun-related school event in the United States save the Columbine incident. Perhaps Japan, like the violence-ridden UK, is not such a model for a society after all...


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Allowing riflery training while decrying gun violence doesn't send a mixed message any more than does supporting a wrestling team while opposing schoolyard brawls. CHICAGO TRIBUNE

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