Two people died and at least 18 were injured as an old man in his fifties went on a rampage in a quiet neighbourhood of Noborito Park in Kawasaki City this Tuesday morning. Schoolgirls were lined up at a bus stop, waiting for the school bus when this man came along shouting, "I will kill you" with knives in both hands. He started stabbing the girls and some other people standing at the crowded bus stop. The girls hailed from Caritas Gakuen, a private school run by Canadian missionaries.

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Kawasaki attack

The school was founded by Soeurs de la Charite Quebec, a Catholic Nun organisation from Quebec City. This is the only Catholic School in Kawasaki. Most girls are believed to be aged between six to 12 years with the majority of them attending the elementary school. Kyodo News agency reported that two girls and a woman in her forties are being treated for very serious injuries. According to the Washington post, One witness described to NHK as being haunted by the children’s screams.

Another recalled hearing them crying by the roadside, one calling, “Mom, Mom.”

After the incident, the emergency services arrived at the spot and set up tents to treat the victims instantaneously. The parents were asked to come and pick up the girls themselves. Among dead were a schoolgirl and a 39-year-old man along with the killer himself. According to police sources, after the stabbing attack, the man inflicted cuts. The police arrested him, but he later succumbed to his injuries and died in the hospital.

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This is one of the rare mass killings or stabbing incidents in Japan. The United Nations Office of Drug and Crime counts Japan among the countries with the lowest homicide rate.

Past incidents

The last attack was reported in 2016, when a man wishing to kill people with disabilities started stabbing people with a knife at a Care Home, killing 19. It was considered the worst attack in Japan since World War II. Moreover, it is still not clear whether police or authorities were able to establish a motive behind these killings.

However, the killings have resulted in deep shock among the residents of the area. An eyewitness reported sighting white shirts of children turning red with pools of blood dripping on the ground along with the shrieks of victims.

Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe expressed his anguish and directed the Education Minister to take robust steps to ensure the safety of children while travelling to and from school. “It was an extremely harrowing incident in which many small children were the victims, and I am outraged,” he said.

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Locals have started laying flowers at the site as a mark of respect to the victims of this tragedy. Notably, the Tuesday incident took place during US President Donald Trump's visit to the country.

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