11:39 GMT +318 August 2019
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    More than 30 people were killed in an arson attack on Kyoto Animation's offices and studio in Japan on 18 July

    Japanese Authorities Issue Arrest Warrant for Suspect in Kyoto Animation Studio Fire - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / JIJI PRESS
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    Thursday's suspected arson attack, which left over thirty people dead and dozens more injured, was one of the deadliest massacres in Japan's post-war history.

    Authorities in Japan have issued an arrest warrant for the suspect accused of starting the deadly Kyoto animation studio fire, Japan's NHK news service has reported.

    Earlier Saturday, as the death toll from Thursday's deadly blaze hit 34, NHK reported that most of the victims of the suspected arson attack on Kyoto Animation were in their 20s and 30s. The studio has a total of about 160 employees.

    Police also confirmed that Shinji Aoba was their only suspect in the arson and murder investigation. According to Kyodo News, the 41-year-old man, who sprayed the entrance to the building with gasoline and shouted "Die!" while setting it on fire, confessed to police during his detention.

    The suspect, who suffered heavy burns himself, accused Kyoto Animation of plagiarism and stealing his novels. He was not an employee of the studio, and was reported to have had a previous conviction for robbing a convenience store east of Tokyo in 2012. According to NHK, Aoba was suffering from mental illness, and had previously received treatment.

    Police held off on arresting Aoba until he recovers from his burns. He is currently being treatment at a university hospital near Osaka.

    Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta said the studio had received a number of death threats by email prior to Thursday's attack.

    Thursday's fire was the deadliest blaze in Japan in nearly two decades, and one of the deadliest massacres in Japan's post-war history. At least 74 people were reportedly inside the building at the time of the attack. 

    Related:

    At Least 20 People Presumed Dead After Fire at Kyoto Animation Studio - Reports
    Kyoto Animation Arson Suspect Identified - Reports
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