Man stabs shoppers in Tokyo street, 7 reported dead

The rampage came on the seventh anniversary of a horrific massacre at a Japanese primary, when a knife-wielding former mental patient killed eight schoolchildren and tarnished Japan's image as a virtually crime-free society.

Man stabs shoppers in Tokyo street, 7 reported dead

A man who said he was tired of life went on a stabbing rampage on Sunday in a popular Tokyo shopping district, killing seven people, Japanese media said.

The man drove a truck into a crowd of pedestrians and then attacked passers-by with a knife in Akihabara district, known for its discount electronics and maid cafes, at lunchtime.



"I came to Akihabara to kill people," Kyodo news agency quoted the attacker as telling police. "I am tired of the world. Anyone was OK. I came alone."

The rampage came on the seventh anniversary of a horrific massacre at a Japanese primary, when a knife-wielding former mental patient killed eight schoolchildren and tarnished Japan's image as a virtually crime-free society.

Six men, ranging from ages 19 to 74 were killed, as was a 21-year-old woman, Kyodo said.

A spokeswoman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police confirmed that at least six people had been killed and another 12 wounded during that attack in the crowded street.

Police said they were unable to confirm whether or not the toll had risen to seven. Kyodo said a 33-year-old man was the latest to die following the attack.



"It's pretty shocking, considering that I come here all the time," a man told NHK television, which said the attacker was shouting as he cut down his victims.

The police spokeswoman said the man had been arrested, and Nippon Television showed footage of a slight, blood-splattered man being herded into a police car.

The street, usually crowded with tourists and locals seeking cheap gadgets, was cleared by police, who searched for evidence amid pools of blood.

As well as electronics, Akihabara has become known in recent years as a centre for Japan's expansive "nerd" culture of video games, comic books and outlandish fashion -- including street performers and cafes with waitresses dressed as French maids.

Although Japan has relatively little violent crime, several recent high-profile cases have raised public concern about violence, leading to increased penalties.

Japan was horrified seven years ago when a former janitor with a history of mental illness killed eight children and injured 15 people in a knife rampage.

Shooting deaths still remain rare in Japan, although there have been some recent cases involving "yakuza" crime groups.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Haziran 2008, 16:19
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