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TOKYO – A knife-wielding man attacked commuters – including schoolchildren – waiting at a suburban Tokyo bus stop during the morning rush hour Tuesday, killing at least one person and wounding at least 19 others before he killed himself, Japanese police and media said.
Japan's NHK national television, citing local police, said the wounded were rushed to nearby hospitals, but one child and one adult were "without vital signs." However, an official with the Kawasaki fire department said one person was believed killed. The discrepancy could not immediately be reconciled.
Officials told NHK the suspect, believed to be in his 40s or 50s, attacked people near Noborito Park in a residential area of Kawasaki City. The report added that a bus driver told officials that the suspect walked toward the bus, holding a knife in each hand and slashing at children. Another witness told the broadcaster that the suspect tried to force his way onto the bus.
The scene of the attack Tuesday morning in Kawasaki City, Japan. (Jun Hirata/Kyodo News via AP)
The number of wounded reportedly included 13 children. Television footage showed emergency workers giving first aid to people inside a tent set up on the street, and police and other officials carrying the wounded to ambulances.
NHK also reported that the suspect stabbed himself fatally in the neck. Police found two knives at the scene of the crime.
A motive for the attack was not immediately clear.
Although Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, it has had a series of high-profile killings, including in 2016 when a former employee at a home for the disabled was accused of going on a stabbing spree that killed 19 and wounded more than 20 others.
In 2008, seven people were killed by a man who slammed a truck into a crowd of people in central Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district and then went on a stabbing rampage.
In 2001, a man killed eight children and wounded 13 others in a knife attack at an elementary school in the city of Osaka. The stunning attack ultimately led to increased security at many schools.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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