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19 dead and many injured in knife attack in Japan

Overhead shot of the scene via Tokyo TV
Overhead shot of the scene via Tokyo TV

Nineteen people are dead and at least 45 people have been injured in a knife attack outside Tokyo, a Japanese news agency reported.

A man attacked a centre for the disabled in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, west of Tokyo then turned himself in, police said, according to Kyodo news agency.

Broadcaster NHK said 15 people were killed and 45 injured in the attack and the 26-year-old suspect was a former employee at the centre.

Japanese media said staff called police at 2.30 a.m. local time with reports of a man armed with a knife on the grounds of the Tsukui Yamayuri Garden facility.

He then broke into the building with the knife.

Armed police stormed the building in the early hours in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Asahi Shimbun reported that the suspect was quoted by police as saying "I did it. I want to get rid of the disabled from this world."

Fifteen people were confirmed dead while four were in a state of cardiac arrest, the reports said

The suspect is described as a man in his 20s and has been arrested, the media reports said.

According to local reports, he is a former employee of the home.

Television footage showed a number of ambulances parked outside the centre, with medics and other rescue workers running in and out.

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.

More to follow...