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Publication Date : 14-02-2013
At least two Japanese tourists were killed and 11 others were injured as a knife-wielding man went on a rampage in a busy shopping district in Guam on Tuesday, according to the Japanese Consulate in Guam.
The two women killed were Kazuko Uehara, 81, and Rie Sugiyama, 29. The injured persons included a child and Sugiyama's 8-month-old baby, according to a local prosecutors office.
A total of 15 Japanese were taken to a hospital near the site of the attack, the consulate said.
The assailant, 21-year-old Chad Desoto, reportedly a local resident, was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and has been questioned by police, the prosecutors office said.
According to local police, the attack occurred at 10:20pm in the Tumon district when the man drove his car onto a sidewalk and hit about seven tourists.
The car stopped after crashing into the wall of an outlet of the ABC Store convenience store chain, and the driver emerged to begin a stabbing spree directed at the people nearby.
According to Rakuten Travel, Inc., a major online travel site based in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, of the 22 people who booked accommodation through its site, two were confirmed dead and five others were injured and hospitalized.
H.I.S. Co., a major travel agency based in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, said a total of eight tourists in two groups on a holiday package arranged by the company were among the injured.
Of them, six people, including one with a broken bone, were hospitalised, but none were in a life-threatening condition.
The remaining two tourists on the H.I.S. package have been discharged from the hospital.
The attack took place on one of the main streets in the central part of the island, where many major hotels and shops are located. The area is popular among Japanese tourists.
The Guam Visitors Bureau dispatched its officials to the hospital and has been trying to gather information on the situation.
Guam Gov. Eddie Calve issued a statement addressed to the people of Japan, in which he said, "We are shocked and grieving with the families of those who were injured and who died...[and the attacker will be] prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
At the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on Wednesday morning, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters: "We're doing our utmost to gather information through the consulate [in Guam].
"From the standpoint of protecting Japanese [overseas], we must take all possible measures to ensure contact with the families [of the victims] and deal with the incident on the local level."