05/22/2014, 00.00
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Four people killed and 20 injured in Taipei underground attack

by Xin Yage
The attacker, Cheng Chieh, is a 21-year-old student. For no apparent reason, and without saying a word, he stabbed passengers an underground train. After his arrest, he asked whether he would get the death penalty. Taiwanese government officials express their sorrow to victims' families.

Taipei (AsiaNews) - A knife attack on an underground train near Taipei left four people dead. Chieh Cheng (郑 捷), a 21-year-old student, attacked the passengers armed with two long knives.

The young man entered the subway shortly just before 4 pm, and travelled between stations. Then he changed direction and, after getting on the train at Longshan Temple Station (龙 山寺 站), suddenly began stabbing people without saying a word.

Three people died almost immediately, while a fourth victim died in hospital a few hours later. More than 20 passengers were also injured in the attack.

The police and some passengers stopped him at Jiangzicui Station (江 子 翠 站).

After his arrest, Cheng Chieh told police that he had been thinking about "doing something shocking that would have made it into the news." Apparently, he had been fixated with it since high school.

During his interrogation, he showed no sign of remorse, but did ask whether he would get the death penalty.

Chieh Cheng is currently in a New Taipei City prison. The local police chief said that he had no history of mental illness and that his family lives near the Jiangzicui Station, where he was arrested.

President Ma Ying-jeou (马英九) said he was "shocked" by the incident and called for a thorough investigation.

Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) expressed sorrow over what happened and asked the public not to panic.

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