A woman wielding a knife attacked a female teacher Tuesday morning at the gate of a kindergarten in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, police said.

Police investigate the entrance of a Suginami Ward kindergarten where a teacher was stabbed.

Police said the woman, aged around 50, attempted to enter Takachiho Kindergarten at around 8:15 a.m. and stabbed the teacher, 23, in both shoulders and the left leg. There were no children nearby at the time of the attack.

The woman fled after the assault, police said.

Investigators said the woman began shouting at the side entrance to the kindergarten, demanding that the gate be opened.

When the female teacher approached her, the woman stabbed her through the bars of the gate with the knife she was holding, they said. The teacher found her way to one of the kindergarten guards for help.

Police said the suspect is about 150 cm tall and has graying hair. She was wearing a dress and carrying a walking stick.

The side entrance has two sets of gates and the attacker had opened the outer one. The inner iron gate is roughly 1.6 meters high and 2.5 meters wide. The inner and outer gates are roughly 5 meters apart.

The woman tried to pass a package she was holding over the gate, then stabbed the teacher through the bars as she reached out to take it, police said. The woman then kicked at the teacher’s legs and poked her with the walking stick, they added.

Kindergarten officials said the gates are usually locked to prevent outsiders from entering. The teacher, whose injuries will require two weeks to heal, said she had never met the woman before.

Some 200 children attend the kindergarten, which is adjacent to Takachiho University. They usually arrive at the school between 9:15 and 9:30 a.m.. The gates are opened at around 8:30 a.m., according to officials.

The kindergarten was temporarily closed for the day after the incident occurred.

Kenichi Otsuka, head of the secretariat of Takachiho Gakuen, the kindergarten’s operator, expressed outrage over the incident, which came less than two weeks after a man went on a stabbing spree at an elementary school in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, killing eight children and injuring several others.

“Although today’s attack was not one that seemed targeted at the children, are incidents like these just going to happen anywhere?” he asked.

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