| 10 December 2023, Sunday |

Japanese Police probing whether pipe bomb was used to attack PM Fumio Kishida

The Japanese authorities are investigating whether the item thrown towards Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the Saturday rally was a makeshift pipe bomb.
Japan’s NHK, quoting the investigators, reported that the authorities discovered conducting wires, which resembled a steel pipe, that led them to believe that the objects could possibly be pipe bombs, since such devices contain gunpowder enclosed inside a cylinder and are detonated by igniting a fuse.

Local media reported that Kimura was also carrying a knife in his backpack at the time of the incident in Wakayama.

The development came a day after police raided the 24-year-old suspect Ryuji Kimura’s residence in Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, in the early hours of Sunday.

The searches, which began at 1 am Sunday (local time), reportedly lasted eight hours. Police found more than a dozen cardboard boxes believed to contain confiscated items in connection with the incident and seized what appeared to be gunpowder and a computer among other items.

Cops are looking into whether any other lethal devices were used to take out the Japanese prime minister.

On Saturday evening, police urged residents near Kimura’s home to evacuate to a nearby community centre as they feared explosives could be found. They were allowed to return home before dawn on Sunday after authorities confirmed it was safe, Japan Times reported.
Spoking to reporters on Sunday, Kishida called the violent attack during his election rally “unforgivable.”

The Japanese leader said that they are tightening security, as every possible measure would be taken to ensure the nation’s safety as it hosts the upcoming Group of Seven summit and other events that bring together dignitaries from around the world.

“Together with the people of Japan, we will do our utmost to ensure safety during the diplomatic schedule,” Kishida said.

Though Kishida escaped unhurt in the attack—as his security took him to safety shortly before the sound of an explosion rang out—a police officer suffered minor injuries on his left arm, Japan Times reported.

The violent attack shocked the nation as it came a year after his predecessor Shinzo Abe was assassinated when he was campaigning in support of a candidate during local elections.

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