Three dead, one injured in stabbing, shooting incident in Japan

Murder illustration

Three people were killed and one injured in a shooting and stabbing incident in rural Japan on Thursday, with the perpetrator having barricaded himself inside a building, media reported.

Few details were immediately available about the incident, in which a man dressed in camouflage stabbed a woman with a knife and shot what appeared to be a hunting rifle in Nagano prefecture, central Japan, NHK national television said.

Two police officers also died, and one person was injured, NHK added. It was not immediately clear whether they had been stabbed or shot.

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.