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Japan conducts evacuation drills amid nuclear missile threat

Gorkha Post

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TOKYO — The Japanese government is preparing its citizens in case a North Korean missile comes their way — possibly with less than 10 minutes’ warning.

About 550 people in the Sea of Japan coastal city of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, participated in an evacuation drill conducted under a scenario that the city received central government reports that a missile was headed its way.

When the first report arrived, a siren went off and residents were told, either electronically or by town officials, to take cover in their homes, underground shelters and ditches if they were out in the fields.

The well-drilled players huddled in the shade for a moment as the coach counted heads and then they jogged to a nearby government office.

“Even if it’s a drill, I feel scared thinking that broken pieces of glass could fly towards me,” Aren Arifuku said.

The team spent about 10 minutes kneeling with their hands over their heads.

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“I felt frightened, you never know when it [a North Korean missile] will be fired and our life becomes unstable,” said fellow player Koki Ishida.

Being a sporting man, coach Masafumi Ishida naturally had some statistics to share about the baseball players’ performance.

“As for a score, I’d like to give them 80 points,” Mr Ishida said.

Kotoura is a sleepy coastal town in Tottori prefecture, on Japan’s west coast. Looking out from its famed sand dunes, North Korea lies beyond the horizon.

Tottori prefecture is close to the likely flight path of any North Korean missiles heading towards the United States territory of Guam.

Its local government is particularly active in holding emergency drills.

Japan’s official civil defense website has had 5.7 million visitors in the first 23 days of April after North Korea has issued threats and paraded missiles this month — compared with usual monthly traffic of less than 400,000 hits, WahingPost reported.

Under the “frequently asked questions” section, the government poses the question of how many minutes it would take for a missile to reach Japan.

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5 dead as gunman attacks churchgoers in Russia

Gorkha Post

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At least five people were killed and another five were injured when a gunman attacked a crowd of people leaving a church on Sunday in Russia’s southern province of Dagestan, Russian news agencies reported.

The attack occurred in the village of Kizlyar in the Muslim-majority republic of Dagestan.

Russian news agencies said the attack occurred as churchgoers celebrated Maslenitsa, a Christian holiday marking the last day before Lent according to the eastern Orthodox calendar.

CCTV footage from the site of the deadly shooting shows a man armed with a rifle gunning down two women in broad daylight.

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A bearded man clad in a black vest and camouflage pants was seen crossing the street before opening fire on two female churchgoers as they left a service in Kizlyar in the Republic of Dagestan on Sunday afternoon. A woman walking several meters from the attacker was seen rushing away as the bloodshed unfolded.

The attacker was identified as a 22-year-old man local to the region, the TASS news agency said, citing the investigative committee.

He was shot and killed by security services who were on duty nearby, TASS said, adding that a hunting rifle, bullets and a knife were discovered on his person.

Initial reports suggested all five victims were women, TASS said, citing the local branch of the interior ministry.

Agencies

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