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Saturday, 9 June, 2001, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Japan stunned by school massacre
A shocked Japan is trying to find explanations for a brutal knife attack on a primary school on Friday, which left eight children dead and 15 pupils and teachers injured.

For 10 minutes, a deranged killer cold-bloodedly went through the school stabbing children at random.

Japanese media took the rare step of identifying the alleged killer as Mamoru Takuma, 37, who has a history mental illness.

Saturday's newspapers are calling for measures to prevent mental patients from re-offending after they have been set free by the courts.

A schoolgirl and her mother praying at the school gates
Residents have been coming to the school gates to lay flowers, light incense and to pray for the souls of victims

The wake of a six-year-old victim of the massacre.
Mothers and children at the wake of a six-year-old victim.

Medics try to save victims of knife attack
Twenty-four hours earlier paramedics had been desperately trying to save stabbing victims in the school grounds

Ikeda school principal Yoshio Yamane
"I feel such anger," said principal Yoshio Yamane of Ikeda elementary school in the suburbs of Osaka

A blue sheet laid out by forensic officials between the gymnasium and classrooms of the Ikeda elementary school
A blue sheet is laid out by forensic officials between the gymnasium and classrooms of the school

Mother comforts frightened schoolgirl
It may take the Japanese public a long time to recover from the shock of this brutal attack

Alleged killer Mamoru Takuma
Alleged killer Mamoru Takuma is a former janitor at another school who was arrested in 1999 for lacing tea with tranquillisers

Schoolgirl surrounded by media after attack
The attack on Ikeda's seven- and eight-year olds is Japan's worst mass killing since the 1995 Tokyo's subway nerve gas attack
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See also:

08 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
Violent crime stalks Japan's youth
08 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
Pupils die in Japan knife massacre
03 May 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Japan
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