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Man held after 10 passengers stabbed on Tokyo train

The attack is not believed to be connected to the Olympics.

Rescuers prepare stretchers at Soshigaya Okura Station in Tokyo.
Rescuers prepare stretchers at Soshigaya Okura Station in Tokyo.

JAPANESE POLICE ARRESTED a man after 10 passengers were stabbed on a commuter train in Tokyo yesterday, in what public broadcaster NHK reported to be a random burst of violence unrelated to the ongoing Olympic Games.

The initial victim, a woman in her 20s, was in serious condition, according to NHK and other Japanese media.

Police identified the attacker as Yusuke Tsushima.

The Tokyo Fire Department said nine of the 10 injured passengers were taken to nearby hospitals, while the 10th was able to walk away.

All of the injured were conscious, fire department officials said.

The Japanese capital is currently hosting the Olympics, which end Sunday. The site of the stabbing spree was about 14 kilometres away from the main National Stadium.

embedded5789731 Police and media gather at Soshigaya Okura Station after a stabbing on a commuter train in Tokyo. Source: Kyodo/AP/PA

NHK said the suspect left his knife behind as he fled, and later walked into a convenience store and identified himself as the suspect on the news, and said he was tired of running away.

The store manager called police after seeing bloodstains on the man’s shirt.

TBS television said he told police he developed the intent to kill women who “looked happy”, and allegedly stabbed a woman who happened to be seated near him in the carriage.

He also allegedly told police that he chose to stage the attack inside a train because it offered the chance to kill a large number of people.

The suspect was also said to be carrying cooking oil and a lighter, with which he allegedly intended to set a fire inside the carriage, NHK reported, quoting police.

A witness at a nearby station where the train stopped said passengers were rushing out of the carriages, shouting that there was a stabbing and asking for first aid.

Another witness told NHK that he saw passengers smeared with blood come out of the train, as an announcer asked for doctors and for passengers carrying towels.

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Dozens of paramedics and police arrived at the station, one of the witnesses said.

featureimage Rescuers carry an injured passenger on stretcher at Soshigaya Okura Station after stabbing on a commuter train in Tokyo. Source: Kyodo/AP/PA

The stabbing occurred near Seijogakuen station, according to railway operator Odakyu Electric Railway Co.

While shooting deaths are rare in Japan, the country has had a series of high-profile killings with knives in recent years.

In 2019, a man carrying two knives attacked a group of schoolgirls waiting at a bus stop just outside Tokyo, killing two people and injuring 17 before killing himself.

In 2018, a man killed a passenger and injuring two others in a knife attack on a bullet train.

In 2016, a former employee at a home for people with disabilities allegedly killed 19 people and injured more than 20.

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