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19 die in frenzied knife attack at care centre for disabled in Japan

By AP Reporter

Published 26/07/2016

Ambulance crews and police at the scene of the mass stabbing. (Kyodo News via AP)
Ambulance crews and police at the scene of the mass stabbing. (Kyodo News via AP)
Police at scene of the attack that left 19 dead and 45 injured

At least 19 people have died in a knife attack at a residential care centre for the disabled in the Japanese city of Sagamihara, which lies west of Tokyo in the  Kanagawa Prefecture.

A further 45 people are reported to have been injured in the incident, which happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning local time.

Four of the injured are said to be in a serious condition.

A motive for the attack has not yet been established.

According to local media, a 26-year-old man has been arrested after handing himself in.

Police say the suspect was a former staff member at the home, and that he has confessed to the stabbings.

Locals said they saw a man dressed in black clothes holding a weapon in the grounds of the Tsukui Yamayuri Garden facility.

The suspect is believed to have managed to escape the facility before later handing himself in.

Officers converged on the centre after receiving a call from staff alerting them to the attack just after 2.30am local time.

The incident comes just three months after Japanese pop star Mayu Tomita was left in a coma after a fan stabbed her dozens of times.

Tomohiro Iwazaki admitted the stabbing, which happened in May, saying it was because the star had returned a gift he had sent her.

In 2001 a man with a history of mental illness entered a primary school in the western city of Osaka and killed eight children in a frenzied knife attack.

Television footage showed a number of ambulances parked outside the care centre following the latest incident, with medics and other rescue workers running in and out, tending to the injured.

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