Friday, April 18, 2014   

Singapore tackles mass transit swordsman
(12-17 13:23)

A subway commuter in Singapore armed with a sword and dressed in Samurai attire is facing the prospect of five years in jail plus flogging.
Metro operator SMRT said police were called in Monday after a man wielding a samurai sword jumped a fare gate at a suburban station and boarded a train headed towards the city, AFP reports.
A police spokeswoman said he was detained for possession of a weapon, an offense punishable by up to five years in jail and a mandatory minimum of six strokes of a cane.
She did not respond to queries about his nationality or age.
Photographs posted on social media by other passengers showed the man wielding the sword while dressed in a white T-shirt and Japanese “hakama'' pants usually worn by martial arts practitioners.
He appeared to sport frizzy, shoulder-length hair. “From the waist up he looked like a rocker, but from the waist down, he looked like a samurai,'' witness Kim Bomhae told the Straits Times newspaper.
The images posted on Facebook and various blogs showed police officers and passengers keeping a wide berth as the man brandished the unsheathed sword on board the train.
He was apprehended by police who tailed him after he alighted at City Hall station.
The bizarre incident immediately drew online derision. “Seems like a good way to ensure you get your personal space on the train,'' wrote Ahmad Zhaki Abdullah on the Straits Times' Facebook page.
Congestion on the 150 kilometer metro network has fed resentment among Singaporeans in recent years.

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