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Suspect arrested in Japan after four killed, including two police officers

Police at the crime site.
Police at the crime site. Copyright 矢島崇貴/AP
Copyright 矢島崇貴/AP
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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A suspect has been arrested in Japan after four people were killed in a shooting and stabbing attack, including two police officers.

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Police said they arrested a man on Friday who had holed up in his father’s house armed with a rifle and a knife after allegedly killing four people, including two police officers, in central Japan.

TV Asahi showed the man with his hands on his head walking out of the house and being ushered toward a police vehicle.

Masanori Aoki, a farmer, was arrested by police under a court warrant on suspicion of murder in Nakano, a city in Nagano prefecture.

Police said earlier that two officers were shot by the suspect when they arrived at the scene after receiving an emergency call saying a woman was stabbed. The officers were apparently without bulletproof vests.

The woman and the two police officers were pronounced dead at a hospital. An older woman, who was injured but could not be rescued because she was near the suspect, was found dead early Friday, police said.

On Friday, National Public Safety Commission Chairperson Koichi Tani confirmed that the suspect possessed licenses for multiple hunting and air guns, all duly authorised by the prefectural public safety commission.

Tani emphasised that the suspect's license renewals had been properly processed.

Residents were urged by authorities to stay indoors in the semi-rural area around the city of Nakano in the Nagano region, where the attack took place.

Homemade guns and pipe bombs

Japan was left reeling in July last year when former prime minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead in broad daylight with an apparently homemade gun.

Abe's accused assassin, Tetsuya Yamagami, reportedly targeted the politician over his links to the Unification Church.

And last month, a man was arrested for allegedly hurling a pipe bomb-like explosive towards current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as he campaigned in the western city of Wakayama.

Kishida was unharmed and a man arrested on the scene will undergo a three-month psychiatric examination, a regional court said this week.

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