Newly detained man admits stabbing Japanese students in Turkey

Another man was held by investigators Thursday morning for suspected involvement in a recent knife attack on two Japanese women in Cappadocia, central Turkey.

A local government source said the man, 24, has admitted to the allegation.

The latest development came after the investigators detained Tuesday a Turkish man, identified as a 26-year-old electrical engineer, for alleged murder. This man has denied the charge, according to his lawyer. It remains unknown if the two detained men know each other.

In the attack on Monday, one of the two women, Mai Kurihara, 22, a student at Niigata University, was stabbed to death, while another woman sustained several wounds and is hospitalized.

According to the Dogan News Agency and local authorities, the 24-year-old man said during questioning that the car he was driving bumped into a bike near the site of the attack and had a quarrel with two women.

He then attacked them with a knife and took money and valuables from them and fled the scene, according to the agency and the authorities.

A bike rental shop in Goreme, a town in Cappadocia, said the Japanese women borrowed mountain bikes and left there.

Police also found a knife in a river nearby after following up on the man’s statement that he threw the knife into the river. They have also found items that appear to belong to the women at his home.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of the 26-year-old man quoted him as saying he was not at the scene when the incident occurred Monday as he was driving and doing other things with a friend. The lawyer requested that his client be freed.

The parents of Kurihara arrived in Ankara on Wednesday night where their daughter’s body had been taken for an autopsy, the Japanese Embassy in Turkey said.

The parents saw their daughter’s body after arriving, according to a person familiar with the situation. The parents are expected to return Kurihara’s body to Japan in the coming days.