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Japan explosions: Pensioner suicide bomber behind deadly park blast
October 23, 2016, 4:31 pm

A 72-year-old retired soldier blew himself up in a park in Japan, killing himself and injuring three others, according to local state media reports.

The first explosion occured in a park in Utsunomiya, 60 miles north of Tokyo, shortly after 11:30am (2:30am GMT).

Kyodo News service reported a burned body was found in the park after police received a call saying a person was engulfed in flames following sounds of an explosion.

A parked car exploded in a nearby car park, burning down two other vehicles. Flames and smoke shot into the air and repeated bangs could be heard on video posted on the Asahi newspaper website.

The man's home, which is five miles from the park, was destroyed in a fire shortly before the blasts.

The explosion injured two men, aged 64 and 58, who were being treated for shrapnel wounds. A 14-year-old boy was also injured.

Police said they discovered a suicide note by the man and were investigating the three incidents.

The explosion happened near a bench at the edge of the park, where a folk art festival was underway. The festival has now been cancelled. 

Suicide rates have declined in Japan in recent years, but remain among the highest in the world, with around 30,000 people a year taking their own lives.

Experts have pointed to the financial stress of surviving on small pensions for pushing some retired people to end their lives.

In 2015, a 71-year-old man set himself on fire on a bullet train in an incident that also claimed the life of a 52-year-old woman travelling in the same carriage.

Source: Independent

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