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Two killed in shooting at Japan army base

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TOKYO: A new military recruit shot and killed two fellow soldiers and wounded a third at a training range in central Japan on Wednesday, the military said, with the 18-year-old suspect detained at the scene.

“During a live-bullet exercise as part of new personnel training, one Self-Defence Forces candidate fired at three personnel,” the Ground Self-Defence Force (GSDF) said in a statement, confirming two deaths.

The shooter was an 18-year-old SDF candidate who joined the military in April, GSDF chief of staff Yasunori Morishita told reporters, adding he was detained on the spot by other soldiers.

“This kind of incident is absolutely unforgivable for an organisation tasked with handling weapons, and I take it very seriously,” Morishita said.

He said the three victims had been tasked with training new recruits, including the attacker, at the range in the city of Gifu, without further elaborating on their relations.

Earlier in the day a local police spokesman said the suspect, whose identity was being withheld, had been charged with attempted murder. The cadet “fired a rifle at the victim with the intent to kill”, the spokesman said.

National broadcaster NHK reported that one fatality was a 52-year-old supervisor, while the other, and the injured soldier, were both aged 25.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2023


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