Man arrested over killing of four people in Japan

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A man has been arrested after four people, including two police officers, were killed in a stabbing and shooting attack in central Japan.

TBS television showed the man with his hands on his head walk out of the house and be ushered into a police vehicle.

Police had obtained a court warrant on Friday morning to formally arrest the man, NHK television said.

Police said earlier that two police officers were shot by the suspect when they arrived at the scene after receiving an emergency call saying a woman was stabbed in Nakano city in Nagano prefecture.

A witness told NHK that a woman fell while being chased by the suspect, who then stabbed her with a knife and shot at two police officers as they arrived at the scene in a patrol car.

The witness said he asked the suspect why he attacked her, and he replied that he wanted to kill her.

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

During the standoff, TV footage showed police wearing bulletproof vests and carrying shields, with an ambulance nearby. Police sealed off a 300-metre radius around the house, and city officials urged people in the quiet farming neighbourhood to stay home.

Crimes involving guns are extremely rare in Japan, where gun ownership is tightly regulated and anyone seeking to own a gun must go through a rigorous process before a licence is granted.

with DPA