TOKYO — A man carrying a knife in each hand and screaming “I will kill you” attacked a group of schoolchildren waiting at a bus stop just outside Tokyo on Tuesday, wounding at least 19 people, including 13 children, Japanese authorities and media said.
The victims were lined up at a bus stop near Noborito Park in Kawasaki City when a man in his 40s or 50s attacked. NHK national television, quoting police, said that the suspect died after slashing himself in the neck. Police wouldn’t immediately confirm the report or provide or other specific details.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many others had died.
An official with the Kawasaki fire department told The Associated Press that one person had been killed. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. Some Japanese media outlets were reporting at least three deaths, while some were saying two, including the attacker.
Kyodo news agency reported that all 13 children who were stabbed were girls at a nearby private school in Kawasaki City.
A witness told the Mainichi newspaper that he heard children shrieking after walking past a bus, and when he turned around, he saw a man wielding a knife in each hand, screaming “I will kill you” and that several children were on the ground.
NHK, citing police, said that a bus driver told officials that a man holding a knife in each hand walked toward the bus and started slashing children. NHK also interviewed a witness who said he saw the suspect trying to force his way onto a bus.
The attacker’s identity and motives weren’t immediately known.
Television footage showed emergency workers giving first aid to people inside an orange tent set up on the street, and police and other officials carrying the injured to ambulances.
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 allegedly killed 19 and injured 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 stabbed passers-by.
Also in 2016, a man stabbed four people at a library in northeastern Japan, allegedly over their mishandling of his questions. No one was killed. (AP)