TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A man attacked a military police officer guarding the Presidential Office with a samurai sword he had stolen from a military history museum Friday morning.
The guard was taken to hospital and was out of danger, while the attacker was arrested by military police at the scene of the incident.
At the time of the attack, 10:15 a.m. Friday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was inside the building attending an event for relatives of presidential staff, a spokesman said. She was informed of the incident but she was never in any danger.
The suspect, named as Lu (呂), 51, arrived outside the Presidential Office Building on foot and attacked the guard at entrance point No.4, reports said. The military police officer, named Chou (周), had only joined the force last May.
The sword Lu used was later reported stolen from the nearby Armed Forces Museum (軍史館).
The Ministry of National Defense confirmed the theft of a weapon at the site. The samurai sword was reportedly one of ten surrendered by Japanese officers when they left Taiwan in 1945. It was inscribed with a text indicating it might have been used to kill 107 people in the Chinese city of Nanjing, the scene in 1937 of a massacre of more than 200,000 people by Japanese troops.
During interrogation by police, Lu reportedly said he had gone to the Presidential Office to “express his political views” and had stolen the sword five minutes earlier “to protect himself” in case he was blocked, reports said.
A search of the bag he had with him also turned up a flag of the People’s Republic of China, reports said.
He was described as an unemployed engineer and had reportedly scouted the area of the museum and the Presidential Office two weeks ago.