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23 killed in suspected arson attack at Japan anime studio
23 killed in suspected arson attack at Japan anime studio

Tokyo, July 18 (TIWN) At least 23 people were killed and dozens injured in a suspected arson attack at a renowned animation studio in Japan's Kyoto city on Thursday, officials said.

Kazuhiro Hayashi, a Kyoto fire department official, told the Associated Press news agency that 13 people have been confirmed dead following the blaze at Kyoto Animation's offices, and more than 10 others presumed dead. 

At least 36 others have been injured, some of them critically, he said. 

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the fire "too appalling for words" in a post on Twitter and offered his condolences to the victims' families.

The blaze appeared to have been started deliberately, police said, but there was no information on a possible motive. 

"A man threw a liquid and set fire to it," a Kyoto prefectural police spokesman told AFP.

Local media said a 41-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the blaze.

Public broadcaster NHK said the man allegedly shouted "You die" as he poured what appeared to be gasoline around the three-story building shortly after 10am local time (01:00 GMT).

NHK said the suspect had been taken to hospital after suffering injuries in the fire.

Footage of the blaze showed thick white smoke pouring from windows of the three-storey building. Its facade was charred black on much of one side where the flames had burned out of the windows.

The fire department said it began receiving calls around 10:35am local time (01:35 GMT) about the fire.

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