South Korea: One dead, three injured in “stabbing” in Seoul

One person was killed and three others injured on Friday in a “knife attack” by a man near a subway station in the South Korean capital Seoul, police told AFP, a rare incident in the country.

Police said the attack happened near the Sillim subway station in southwest Seoul and they arrested the suspect at the scene.

Police said, “The suspect is a man in his thirties who does not appear to be under the influence of alcohol. We are questioning him regarding the motive for his crime.”

Rescuers dressed in orange with stretchers arrived at the scene as police cordoned off the area, according to footage from local television YTN.

“When the police caught him, the man shouted that he didn’t want to live anymore,” YTN reported.

Other footage broadcast on YTN showed police taking the suspect into custody. He appeared to be passive, sitting on the stairs, when armed police approached and took him into custody.

A shopkeeper in the neighborhood told YTN, “People came running to my shop, they told me that a man with a big knife was attacking people. We locked the door.”

Witnesses said the suspect repeatedly stabbed a man in the back who was talking on the phone before fleeing and attacking others, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.

“All four victims are believed to be male,” the paper said.

The attack quickly became a topic of discussion on Korean-language social networks.

A user speaking on Twitter under the pseudonym sanong_cos warned, “Don’t come to Silim right now. I called the police after seeing an injured man on the ground.”

A police cordon near a subway station where the White Army attacked in Seoul, South Korea, on July 21, 2023 (Yonhap/AFP – -)

Earlier this year, a 23-year-old TV drama fanatic stabbed to death a woman he had met online in the southern city of Busan, according to local media reports.

In March, a 37-year-old woman was accused of injuring three people with a knife on a subway, apparently calling her “Ajumma”, a term for a middle-aged woman.

Last year, a man stabbed a former coworker to death at a subway station after stalking her for years. He was then sentenced to prison for several decades.

Despite these sporadic attacks, South Korea is generally considered an extremely safe country, with a murder rate of just 1.3 per 100,000 people in 2021, according to official figures.

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