Knife Attack In Japan Leaves ‘At Least 19 People Dead’

A knife attack by a young man has left at least 19 people dead and 45 others injured in Japan. According to BBC News, the attack happened at a facility for disabled people located in the city of Sagamihara, close to the capital city of Tokyo. The incident reportedly happened shortly after 2 a.m. Police authorities confirmed that they received a call about the attack at around 2.30 a.m., following which emergency workers and police officers rushed to the spot. At the time of publishing this article, people are still being rescued and treated for their injuries.

Four of the injured are reported to be hospitalized and are in a serious condition. Eyewitnesses to the incident said that they saw a man dressed in black clothes armed with a knife near the Tsukui Yamayuri Garden, located close to the place where the attack happened.

Details remain sketchy at this point of time. However, there are unconfirmed reports which claim that the attacker was a 26-year-old man who has not been identified yet. The arrested individual is believed to be a former staff member at the home for the disabled. Following the knife attack, he reportedly turned himself to police authorities who quickly arrested him. The man has also reportedly confessed to the stabbings. The man, police say, had initially managed to escape the facility but later turned himself in. An investigation has already been launched. Police officials are yet to reveal any possible motive behind the knife attack. The attack has also prompted people to ask whether this was related to Islamic terrorism.

“Omg are there terrorist Muslims in Japan too? I hope not, Japanese are real peaceful people.” a commenter wrote on Facebook.

That said, there are no current indications that link this latest knife attack to terrorism. We have embedded a few tweets below that talk about the knife attack.

@Reuters I never expect such a terrible incident from Japan. Japanese ones seem like very peaceful and kindful persons.

— trChallenger (@trOpponent) July 25, 2016

Knife attacks have been reported from Japan earlier too. Earlier this year, in May, popular Japanese pop star Mayu Tomita was stabbed dozens of times by a frustrated fan who stalked her for more than two years. The man, identified as Tomohiro Iwazaki, was later arrested following which he confessed to stabbing Tomita in the neck and chest. He told investigating officers that he “ambushed” Tomita after she refused a gift from him. The star was stabbed just before she was about to perform at a concert. Tomita, to this day, remains in a comatose state. There have been recent reports, though, which said she is making gradual progress.

More than a year ago, in March 2016, another knife attack in Japan left five people dead. This attack took place in the city of Sumoto located on Awaji Island. All the victims were elderly people aged between 60- and 80-years-old. The man who perpetrated that knife attack was caught later.

The Japanese knife attack also comes close on the heels of the attacks in Europe – including France and Germany which left scores dead in the past week alone. Yesterday too, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a bar in the city of Ansbach in Germany. Reports say that the attacker, later found to be a Syrian refugee, had pledged allegiance to the ISIS before he carried out the attack.

[Image Via AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko]