Attack on schoolgirls in Japan: a school founded by sisters from Quebec
Schoolgirls attending an establishment founded by the community of the Sisters of Charity of Quebec, Japan, were victims of a knife attack on the outskirts of Tokyo on Tuesday.
Witnesses report that a man holding a knife in each hand and shouting “I am going to kill you” attacked children waiting at a bus stop in Kawasaki City.
One girl and one adult were killed in the attack, which also left at least 17 injured, three of whom are in critical condition.
The attacker in his 50s died after inflicting himself a neck injury, confirm the municipal authorities.
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The Superior General of the Quebec congregation said she was “very, very saddened” on Tuesday, shortly after meeting with her two sisters who are still working at Caritas Gakuen School.
“We know how much they are affected. I communicated with them this morning, then they talked about an incredible drama, “says Sister Monique Gervais.
Parents, teachers and management immediately gathered to support each other through this ordeal, she says, always in the values of the congregation “of sharing, mutual aid and solidarity”.
The Sisters of Charity maintain close ties with the school, which – though now secular – was until recently headed by one of their nuns.
“Here in our house in Quebec, we have close to 376 sisters who will get involved, who will support them, by their prayers and us, by words,” she says. We are always in touch with them, even more so at the time of this drama we have just experienced. ”
A hellish scene
Witnesses described Tuesday an infernal scene in which children and adults collapsed, while dozens of children ran and called for help, their schoolbags and books scattered on the floor and their clothing sometimes soaked with blood.
“I heard a scream, so I stopped and turned around to see what had happened. It was not a normal tone of voice, says Yasuko Atsukata, who says he immediately saw one person collapse, then another. Schoolgirls’ white shirts turned red, so I realized they were stabbed. ”
In a nearby parking lot, a boy was in shock and appeared to have injured his face, hands and legs – injuries that were apparently caused by a fall while he was hugging his legs.
Other witnesses report that a bus driver stopped the assailant fleeing the scene and that the latter collapsed in a pool of blood while the police seized him.
The authorities did not reveal his identity or his motives.
However, they confirmed the deaths of Hanako Kuribayashi, an 11-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl, and Satoshi Oyama, a 39-year-old civil servant who accompanied her child to the bus stop.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was outraged by this deadly madness and that he would take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of children.
Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, but the Land of the Rising Sun has been the scene of a series of high-profile murders in recent years.