Two dead after teen soldier, 18, opens fire at army shooting range in latest attack to rock peace-loving Japan | The Sun

A TEEN soldier has been arrested after two instructors were shot dead at a military firing range.

A third person was also injured after the suspect, 18, opened fire at them during a live-bullet exercise at the site in central Japan.

It is understood the victims had been tasked with training new recruits, including the attacker.

The teen was swiftly arrested following the incident at the Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) firing range in the city of Gifu.

Three instructors, which public broadcaster NHK said included a man in his 50s and two in their 20s, were taken to hospital where two died, GSDF Chief of Staff General Yasunori Morishita said.

The alleged shooter, who is in police custody, joined the GSDF in April, he added.

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Morishita said: "This kind of incident is absolutely unforgivable for an organisation tasked with handling weapons, and I take it very seriously.

"We will investigate the cause of the incident to ensure that it doesn't happen again."

He added that the incident was the first such fatal shooting at a GSDF firing range since 1984.

The suspect, whose identity is being withheld, has been charged with the attempted murder of a 25-year-old soldier, police said.

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Details of the casualties' identities have yet to be officially confirmed.

Aerial footage broadcast by the station showed military and civilians gathered around an emergency vehicle and police blocking nearby roads.

Some appeared to be investigators, wearing covers over their shoes and hair.

A local resident told NHK he saw several emergency vehicles rushing to the area at around 9.30 am local time (12.30pm GMT) but had not heard anything before that.

Last year there were four gun deaths in Japan, according to the National Police Agency.

Among them was former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot and killed with a homemade gun in July.

The suspect, who has yet to be tried, had previously been a member of the Maritime SDF.

The SDF deaths on Wednesday come after a military helicopter crashed with 10 crew members on board in the sea off an island in the southern prefecture of Okinawa in April.

Gun ownership is tightly regulated in Japan, and anyone seeking to own a gun must go through rigorous background checks.

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