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June 28, 2017

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President, premier, officials shocked by Metro attack

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday expressed shock and sadness over the Taipei Metro killing spree, saying that he has instructed the relevant authorities to get to the bottom of the case and assist the victims and their family members.

A knife-wielding assailant, 21, yesterday attacked passengers on a metro train traveling from Longshan Temple Station to Jiangzicui Station, leaving four dead, as of press time, and dozens wounded.

The assailant was arrested at Jiangzicui Station in New Taipei City. According to local media, he told police that his actions were premeditated.

Presidential Office spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) said that the president learned of the incident immediately after the news broke, and that he has been closely following the latest developments.

The spokeswoman added that the administration strongly condemns violence, and that although the Taipei Metro killing spree was an isolated incident, the administration will increase police efforts to ensure the safety of metro passengers.

Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said that Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) was immediately notified of the incident, and that the premier was shocked and deeply saddened.

The premier requested that the National Police Agency (NPA) uncover the assailant's motives, Sun said, adding that the premier also asked hospitals do everything they can to save the victims.

The premier further instructed that the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Transportation of Communications to step up the security of public transportation in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) expressed sorrow over the incident but asked that the public not panic.

The minister explained that additional police will be dispatched to ensure the safety of public transportation.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) visited the victims at the hospitals and promised that his city will work with the Taipei City Government to increase police efforts and ensure public safety.

Chu expressed sorrow over the deaths and said that he contacted Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) shortly after he learned of the news.

The New Taipei mayor said that he doesn't understand why someone would want to harm others in such a way, describing the assailant's actions as "insane."

Hau said that Taipei will work with the NPA to ensure public safety.

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