Two women killed in Japan shrine attack

Tokyo, Dec 8 (IANS) Two women were killed and another person was injured in a stabbing incident at a shrine in Tokyo, with the male suspect appearing to have committed suicide, Japanese authorities said on Friday.

The incident took place on Thursday night at the Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine, east of Tokyo, reports Efe news.

The assailant, identified as 56-year-old Shigenaga Tomioka, attacked his 58-year-old sister sister Nagako Tomioka, the shrine’s chief priestess,with a Samurai sword and killed her after she got off from a chauffeur-driven car.

Later, the attacker’s girlfriend, reportedly in her 30s, and who was at the entrance of the shrine at the time, chased the fleeing chauffeur for more than 100 metres before slashing him on the shoulder with a sword, police sources told state-owned broadcaster NHK.

Tomioka then fatally stabbed his girlfriend and committed suicide with the weapon used in the attack, according to the police, who reached the scene of the crime after receiving calls from residents.

The attacker was the chief priest of the shrine more than a decade ago, but was demoted from the post and succeeded by his sister.

He was arrested in 2006 after sending his sister letters with death threats, according to the Asahi daily.

The attacker and his sister belong to a family that has managed the Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine for generations since its founding in 1627.

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