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3 dead, including 2 police officers, after attack in Japan

Three people were killed Thursday, among them two police officers, during a violent rampage in Japan’s central Nagano region, according to local reports.

Police received a call in the late afternoon with reports that a “man stabbed a woman” in Nakano City, a local police official told CNN. Witnesses on the scene told NHK public television that the victim fell while being chased by the suspect, who then stabbed her.

When authorities arrived on the scene, the man opened fire with what appeared to be a hunting rifle, striking four people, before barricading himself inside a building. He was wearing a camouflage outfit and his face was mostly obscured with a hat, mask and sunglasses, Kyodo News agency said.

City officials urged those in the area to stay indoors.

Three of the victims were taken to a nearby hospital, including the woman, and were later pronounced dead, police said. Two of the responding officers also succumbed to their wounds shortly after the attack.

The condition of the fourth person shot was not clear.

No other details, including about the suspect and his motives, were immediately known.

Gun violence is incredibly rare in Japan, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, and in turn, some of the lowest rates of gun crimes. The nation was recently rocked by the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot in July last year during a campaign speech in the western city of Nara.

With News Wire Services

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