Japanese authorities on Tuesday, confirmed that a suspected gunman had taken an unknown number of people hostage at a post office in Warabi City near Tokyo.
Officials said the armed gunman attacked the post office at approximately 2:15 p.m., took the hostages at gunpoint and holed up at a post office in Chuo 5-chome area of Warabi City.
Television footage showed the suspect inside the post office in a baseball cap and a white vest under a dark coat, apparently carrying a gun attached to a cord around his neck.
“The perpetrator is possessing what appears to be a gun,” an official statement said on X.
“Citizens near the scene are urged to follow police instructions and evacuate in accordance with police instructions,” the statement added.
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Japanese broadcaster Nippon TV initially reported that two female post office workers were among the hostages, while police were talking to the man by phone.
“More than five hours after the standoff began, one member of staff came out uninjured,” the TBS broadcaster said, adding that police urged 300 residents in the nearby area to evacuate.
The incident came as police probed a shooting in the same region earlier in the day where two people were slightly wounded in that incident, the broadcaster said.