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JUST IN: Pensioner suicide bomber behind deadly park blast in Japan

A 72-year-old ex-soldier died after he blew himself up in a Japanese park in an apparent suicide, the country’s state broadcaster reported.

Three other people were injured in the explosion which took place soon after another blast in a car park 200 metres away.

In that blast around 11.30am, one vehicle exploded and two others were also badly damaged in the city of Utsunomiya, 60 miles north of Tokyo.

The site where an explosion happened is seen in Utsunomiya, Japan. Pic: Kyodo/via Reuters
Image Caption: The site of one of the explosions in a bicycle parking space in Utsunomiya, Japan

The man who died was a former self defence force member who was believed to be the owner of one of the cars.

His body was found at a bicycle parking area inside the park, it is believed.

His home five miles away had burned down earlier in the day, according to reports.

Firefighters investigate a burnt car at the site of an explosion in Utsunomiya, Japan. Pic: Kyodo/via Reuters
Image Caption: Firefighters investigate a burnt car at the scene of a blast

Police said they discovered a suicide note written by him which was apparently found in one of the cars, and were investigating the three incidents.

Those injured in the park blast were two men aged 64 and 58, who suffered shrapnel wounds, and a 14-year-old boy, said broadcaster NHK.

The park was hosting a folk art festival which was immediately called off following the blasts.

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