August 20, 2019
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Japan anime studio attack suspect may have acted in revenge: authorities

Tokyo, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- A suspected arson attack on an anime studio in Japan that left at least 34 people dead and scores injured may have been carried out as an act of revenge against the firm, authorities said Saturday.Police have identified 41-year-old Shinji Aoba as the suspect behind the deadly fire on Thursday.Aoba is in police custody and remains in hospital for burns sustained in the fire he allegedly started inside the Kyoto Animation studio.

According to the latest details of the investigation published by Japanese media, a man resembling Aoba was seen near the studio by several residents of the area in the days before the fire, leading police to suspect he planned the attack in advance.

At the time of his arrest he allegedly shouted that he had burned down the studio for having stolen and copied an idea for a supposed novel, Japan’s state broadcaster NHK reported Saturday.

Police have said the man had never worked for the animation studio and they have not been able to confirm whether the suspect ever published a novel.

Aoba has a criminal record for a robbery back in 2012, which resulted in a jail sentence, and after he got out he received assistance from a state program for former convicts, the Japanese authorities added.

The suspect was initially hospitalized in Kyoto but on Saturday transferred to another health center in Osaka to receive specialist treatment for serious burns, according to the police, who are waiting to question him.

According to witnesses, Aoba burst into the studio on Thursday shouting “I’m going to kill you” and poured out a flammable liquid before setting it on fire. The blaze, one of the most tragic to have befallen Japan in recent decades, claimed the lives of 34 people, most of whom were trapped on a stairwell while trying to reach the rooftop. EFE-EPA

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