Man attacks children in Tokyo stabbing spree

TOKYO (AFP) - A suspected knifeman was arrested Friday after attacking three children in broad daylight on a Tokyo street outside their elementary school, police said.

The children - two six year-olds and one seven year-old - suffered cuts during the attack in the northwest of the capital around 1:40 pm (Singapore time 12:40pm), a Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman said.

The victims, all boys, were not in a life-threatening situation but the seven-year-old suffered a cut into the muscles of his right elbow, the official said.

"As a group of children was waiting at stoplights at a crossroads, the suspect got off a vehicle and suddenly attacked some of them with a knife without saying a word," the official said.

The assailant fled the scene in the blue vehicle but was caught by police 30 minutes later.

He was identified only as a man in his 40s because he had a record of mental treatment, the official said.

Japan has one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the developed world, and random attacks involving weapons of any kind are highly unusual.