Three killed including two police officers in attack in Japan
Three people have been killed in an attack in central Japan, police said.
A suspect with a rifle and knife was holed up inside a building when he struck, claiming the lives of a woman and two police officers.
The woman fell while being chased by the suspect, who then stabbed her with a knife and shot at two police officers as they arrived at the scene in a patrol car in Nakano city in Nagano prefecture, a witness told Japanese television.
The witness said he asked the suspect why he attacked the woman and was told he wanted to kill her.
The three victims were taken to a nearby hospital where the woman was declared dead.
Two officers also died, according to reports in Japan.
A fourth person who was hurt could not be rescued because he was near the suspect, the Kyodo News agency said.
Video showed police wearing bulletproof vests and carrying shields, with an ambulance nearby.
The area is in a quiet farming neighbourhood in central Japan.
Police described the suspect as a man wearing a camouflage outfit, a hat and mask and sunglasses, Kyodo News said.
City officials urged those in the area to stay at home.
No other details, including about the suspect and the motive, were immediately known.
Violent crimes are rare in Japan.
It has strict gun control laws and only a handful of gun-related crimes annually.
But in recent years there have been some high-profile cases, involving random knifings on subways and arson attacks, and there is growing concern about homemade guns and explosives.
In 2014 there were just six incidents of gun deaths in Japan compared to 33,599 in the US.
People have to undergo a strict exam and mental health tests in order to buy a gun. Even after clearance only shotguns and air rifles are allowed.