Taiwanese charged with attempted murder in subway knife attack

TAIPEI (AFP) - A man wielding a knife who wounded four people in a Taipei subway station attack "would have killed everyone", prosectors said on Tuesday, as they announced attempted murder charges against the 27 year-old.

Kuo Yen-chun was bundled to the ground by security guards at a Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station on July 20 after he used a 20cm kitchen knife to slash passengers riding on an escalator.

"Even after his arrest, he claimed he would have killed everyone if no one had stopped him," according to a statement from the Shi-Lin district prosecutors office.

"This shows he had a clear murderous intention and showed no remorse after the attack."

Three women and a man were hospitalised with knife wounds following the incident. They had all been released by the following day.

Kuo was venting his anger and did not know the victims personally, prosecutors found.

He was unemployed and the attack occurred after he had an argument with his aunt, with whom he lived with at the time, according to the Tatung district police.

Prosecutors urged a heavy sentence.

The attack evoked memories of a stabbing spree on a subway carriage in May 2014 that killed four and left 20 others wounded in an attack which shocked the island.

Former college student Cheng Chieh was sentenced to death March over the rampage.

Cheng will face a firing squad after being convicted on four counts of murder and 22 counts of attempted murder.

It was the first fatal attack on Taipei's subway system since it launched in 1996.

Taiwan resumed the death penalty in 2010 after a five-year hiatus.