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Killings make global headlines

Foreign news organizations gave extensive coverage to Sunday's indiscriminate stabbing rampage in Akihabara, Tokyo, with several media outlets making it their top international news story.

The phenomenon that is Akihabara was also highlighted in the reports.

The Washington Post's online version described Akihabara as a place where "thousands of young men from Japan and around the world gather for electric gadgets and comic books, computer games and nerdy friendship."

"Millions from Japan and across the globe flock to the super high-tech streets of Akihabara every year," read the Times online.

The Times' correspondent in Tokyo gave a detailed report from the street describing the nature of the attack and the pandemonium in the air.

The Washington Post reported that the scene looked "like a war zone just after the attack, with puddles of blood and random shoes on the pavement."

BBC Television commented that the attack occurred on the same day as an incident in 2001 in which a man with a history of mental illness killed eight students in a random stabbing rampage at a primary school in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture.

The British state broadcaster went on to say that knife crime was once rare in Japan, but has increased in recent years.

The attack was the top international news item on the 8 p.m. news on France 3, a French state TV channel. Its correspondent reported from the scene that the incident had shaken the whole country from a feeling of living in safety.

German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported that Japan had a low level of violent crime compared with the rest of the world, but pointed out that knife attacks had increased in recent years.

Sunday's attack came in the wake of an incident in March, in which a 24-year-old man fatally stabbed one person and injured seven others at and around a train station in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, leading DPA to comment: "This spate of indiscriminate murders has shocked the Japanese."

The Beijing Morning Post printed the story with a photograph on the front page of Monday's issue.

China's official Xinhua News Agency reported the incident soon after it happened Sunday afternoon, and continued updating the story with details of the rising body count throughout the day.

(Jun. 10, 2008)
AP News
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