Several local media outlets reported that a woman and two policemen were killed Thursday in Nagano prefecture, central Japan, by an apparently deranged individual. There is talk of an attack involving a knife and a firearm. According to the public television channel NHK, the suspect barricaded himself in a building, but the local police have not yet officially confirmed the facts.
According to a witness quoted by NHK, while he was working on a farm, a woman ran towards him from the road shortly after 16:00 (local time), calling for help before collapsing. Behind her, a man dressed in camouflage clothing and armed with a long knife stabbed her in the back. The witness immediately called emergency services, and when police officers arrived, the man shot them with a rifle, according to reports.
Local authorities urged residents in the surrounding areas of Nakano, northeast of Nagano City, where the incident occurred, to stay indoors. In Japan, intentional homicides are highly unusual due to strict regulations on gun ownership.
However, last year Japan was rocked by the death of former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, who was killed with an improvised firearm while delivering an election speech in Nara, in the west of the country. In addition, last month, an individual was arrested after throwing an IED at current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was visiting a small fishing port in Wakayama Prefecture. Fortunately, Kishida was unharmed in the incident.
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