Knifeman stabs children in Japanese park

Rescue workers operate at the site where sixteen people were injured in a suspected stabbing by a man, in Kawasaki, Japan, 28 May 2019Image copyright

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Emergency services at the scene of a reported mass stabbing in Kawasaki, Japan

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 16 people were injured in the attack in Kawasaki and two of them are reportedly dead. Police have confirmed one elementary school girl has died.

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

The motive for the attack is unknown.

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

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Paramedics set up tents at the scene to treat the injured

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 saw 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 later stabbed himself.

“I saw a man lying near a bus stop bleeding,” a male eyewitness told NHK. “I also saw elementary schoolchildren lying on the ground… It’s a quiet neighbourhood, it’s scary to see this kind of thing happen.”

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

US President Donald Trump, who is currently 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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