In Brief

Japan stabbing attack leaves 19 dead in home for disabled

Satoshi Uematsu hands himself in to police, saying 'I want to get rid of the disabled from this world'

At least 19 people were killed and dozens wounded in a knife attack at a care home for disabled people in Japan in the early hours of this morning. 

The attacker has been identified as 26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu, a former employee of the Tsukui Yamayuri En centrein Sagamihara, west of Tokyo. He walked into a nearby police station after the attack, still carrying his blood-stained knives, and admitted to the killings.

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported that he told police: 'I want to get rid of the disabled from this world.'

According to one unnamed city official, Uematsu was involuntarily hospitalised earlier this year after expressing a willingness to kill disabled people if the government approved. He had apparently tried to present a letter about his plans to Japan's parliament.

Uematsu was discharged from hospital after just a few weeks after a doctor decided his condition had improved.

Before Tuesday's knife attack, the deadliest mass killing in post-war Japan was the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway by members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, which claimed 12 lives.

While Japan's strict gun laws have virtually eliminated shooting deaths, the country has a "troubling record of mass casualty knife attacks", says the Daily Telegraph. In 2001, a former janitor killed eight students and wounded 15 more people in a knife attack on an Okinawa school.

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