Suspected gunman takes hostages in Japanese post office, authorities say

The government of the city of Warabi, just north of Tokyo, said in a statement an undetermined number of hostages were taken by a man “in possession of something like a handgun”.

At least two female post office workers in their 20s and 30s were taken hostage, local media reported. A woman in her 20s later walked out of the building into police custody, national broadcaster NHK said.

The suspect, who appeared to be in his 80s according to NHK, was earlier involved in a shooting at a hospital in the neighbouring city of Toda and then fled the scene, municipal authorities there said. Two people were injured at the hospital, media reported.Police officers take cover behind cars outside the post office where a suspected gunman has taken people hostage after injuring two at a hospital, in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, Japan October 31, 2023, in this photo taken by Kyodo.

Those incidents resulted in four fatalities, including the killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by a man with a homemade gun at a campaign rally in July. Reporting by Sugiyama Satoshi, Sakura Murakami and Tim Kelly; Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Ed OsmondPalestinian Americans and aid groups in the United States are raising funds for Gaza, which faces a deepening humanitarian crisis as the Israel-Hamas war enters its fourth week – but they have as yet limited ability to get supplies into the besieged enclave.

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