Girl fatally stabbed by her classmate

June 1, 2004 at 4:18 AM
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SASEBO, Japan, June 1 (UPI) -- An elementary school girl was stabbed to death by her classmate in the town of Sasebo in southern Japan Tuesday.

At around 12:45 p.m., a local fire station received an emergency call from the Sasebo Municipal Okubo Elementary School. By the time paramedics arrived at the scene, the girl was dead, the Mainichi Shimbun reported Tuesday.

They were having lunch in a 6th-grade classroom when the incident occurred. The details, including the girls' names, were withheld as the Juvenile Law protects children under 14 from prosecution.

The minimum age at which children are subject to criminal prosecution was lowered from 16 to 14 in 2001 following a number of serious crimes committed by juveniles. But the girl who killed her classmate and is now in police custody will not be prosecuted.

Last year 144,404 boys and girls under 20 years old were arrested, constituting over 40 percent of all criminal cases.

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