Police siren 2
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Tokyo: One woman and two police officers were killed after a shooting and stabbing incident in rural Japan on Thursday, with the perpetrator having barricaded himself inside a building, media reported.

Officers had rushed to the scene after a pedestrian reported a commotion in Nakano city in the central Japanese prefecture of Nagano.

A witness told NHK public television that a woman fell while being chased by the suspect, who then stabbed her with a knife and shot at two police officers as they arrived at the scene. The police officers were unconscious, and a fourth person who was injured could not be rescued because he was near where the suspect was holed up.

The three were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were later pronounced dead, police said.

Police described the suspect as a man wearing a camouflage outfit, a hat, a mask and sunglasses, Kyodo News agency said. City officials have urged those in the area to stay home.

Crimes involving guns are extremely rare in Japan, where gun ownership is tightly regulated and anyone seeking to own a gun must go through a rigorous process before a licence is granted.