Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Asian Stabbing Sprees Leave 3 Dead

Two so-called "stabbing rampages" have taken place in Asia over the weekend, one in Japan and the second in China, both related to Autumn Festivals.

On Saturday, September 13, 2008, one person was killed and six others injured when a man went on a stabbing rampage in central Japan -- the latest in a series of such sprees in the country in the last few months.

The attacks occurred during a festival (attended by people having late-night celebrations to welcome the onset of fall). At a shrine in Ishikawa Prefecture, a man was seen indiscriminately slashing people with a sickle, the Kyodo news agency reported.

Police arrested a 42-year-old vendor, Toshiaki Arai, and charged him with killing a 30-year-old man and wounding six others, Kyodo said. He was arrested at Kuwashima Jinja, a shrine in Hakusan in Ishikawa state.

The Associated Press reported that Arai told police he was angry that customers had made fun of him.

Police say Yohei Okada died from severe blood loss shortly after the stabbing. Among the six other men injured, two remain hospitalized Sunday afternoon, AP said.

In June, a man ran over a group of people with his truck and then stabbed 18, killing at least 7, in a video game district of downtown Tokyo. Twelve others were wounded, police said.

The following month, a woman stabbed seven men at a train station outside Tokyo after trying to slit her wrist in an attempt to kill herself.

As often happens in such situations when an international story on such a rampage occurs, after the Japanese public stabbing, a private domestic outburst, a copycat takes place.

A man in southern China’s Guangdong Province killed himself after stabbing his mother-in-law to death and seriously injuring his wife who had refused to go back home with him. A taxi driver was also injured in the stabbing spree in Gaozhou City in Guangdong at midday on Sunday, September 14, 2008, the local Guangzhou Daily reported today.

The wife, surnamed Cheng, is in a critical condition in hospital though the taxi driver is recovering.

The man, whose name was not revealed, had taken a taxi to his mother-in-law’s home and demanded that his wife, Cheng, return home with him for the Mid-Autumn festival. Cheng had been staying at her mother’s house after an earlier fight with her husband.

The angry man told his wife he would stab her if she refused but this threat angered the mother-in-law so much that she said if he dared to he should kill her first, a neighbor reported.

Enraged the man then attacked the mother-in-law and then his wife. His ill father-in-law could only watch the brutal assaults. The man fled to a nearby mountain after attacking the taxi driver. Police rushed to the mountain but found the man dead there.

Neighbors said the man had never got on with his in-laws and that he and his wife were constantly fighting.

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