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S. Korean man sets flat ablaze, stabs neighbours

Seoul: A 42-year-old man in South Korea set his apartment on fire on Wednesday, April 17, and fatally stabbed his five neighbours, including a 12-year-old girl, who tried to escape the fire, the police said.

The man set fire to his own flat, located on the fourth floor of a residential building in Jinju, around 430 km south of Seoul, the police chief of Jinju said at a press conference.

He then went down to the second floor where he attacked residents coming out of the corridor with a knife.

Thirteen others were also injured as the suspect randomly attacked his neighbours on the staircase of the building, Yonhap news agency reported.

Apart from the minor, the dead included a 70-year-old man, two women aged around 60 and one aged 30. Of the 13 injured, three were reported to be critical.

The man, identified by the police only by his family name Ahn, was detained and he admitted to the crime, the report said.

According to Yonhap, the man was held after a confrontation with the police as officers had to fire shots and tasers, although they did not hit him. Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire 20 minutes after his arrest.

The police said the suspect refused to make a statement about the attack. However, neighbours said the man was schizophrenic and had been involved in a number of violent incidents in the community.

The man was also accused of previously stalking one of the five victims and assaulting two residents in January.

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