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Seven Relatives Found Stabbed in Japan

August 2, 2004

TOKYO (AP) _ Seven members of a family were found stabbed to death with a kitchen knife Monday in western Japan and investigators were questioning a suspect who confessed after crashing his car in the neighborhood, police said.

The man, who said he was related to the victims, told police he’d stabbed the four men and three women in two separate houses and set fire to a third nearby house which was owned by the same family, police said.

The attack took place in the western city of Kakogawa, 280 miles southwest of Tokyo.

An additional relative, who lived in one of the homes, was injured in the attack and was being treated at a hospital, a Hyogo Prefectural (state) police spokesman said.

Investigators picked up the 47-year-old suspect when he crashed his car in the area shortly after police received an anonymous call about the stabbing, the spokesman said. No one was injured in the crash.

Police said the man was later sent to a nearby hospital for treatment for burns and bruises believed sustained when he set the fire.

National broadcaster NHK said the man told police he was driven by many years of ``hatred.″

The four men and three women killed in the attack ranged in age from 26 to 80, police said.

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