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2 people slashed in suspected serial attack near Tokyo

A police car in Japan (Mainichi)

SAITAMA -- Two people were slashed in the thigh one after another in a suspected serial attack in the Saitama Prefecture city of Kawaguchi, north of Tokyo, on Feb. 1, followed by a separate attack in another prefecture about an hour and a half later, police said.

    Kawaguchi Police Station announced on Feb. 2 that a 45-year-old Kawaguchi resident suffered light injuries when a man slashed him on the thigh as they passed each other on a street in the city at around 6:25 p.m. on Feb. 1. The man was about 170 centimeters tall, wearing dark clothes and carrying a bag.

    In another incident roughly five minutes earlier, a woman was reported to have been slashed on the thigh on a street in the city about 400 meters away. Police are investigating the two incidents, suspecting the same individual may be responsible.

    The male victim was on his way home from Saitama Railway's Kawaguchi-motogo Station at the time, and the child who was with him was not harmed. He apparently thought the man's bag had hit him and had not considered it a crime. Later, however, he heard from his wife about the attack on the woman, and reported his injuries to police on Feb. 2, saying that he, too, may have been targeted.

    Police had earlier put the time of the attack on the woman at around 6:30 p.m., but upon closer examination, they reportedly found that it had occurred at around 6:20 p.m.

    About an hour and a half after the two incidents, a man was slashed on the thigh in Yokohama's Hodogaya Ward, south of Tokyo, and police are investigating a possible connection.

    (Japanese original by Ayako Hiramoto, Saitama Bureau)

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