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OSAKA — One man was fatally stabbed and another suffered serious injuries early Sunday after apparently being attacked by a group of men along a road in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture.

The attackers fled the scene in two cars, and police have launched a criminal investigation, suspecting that some sort of quarrel over driving manners may have triggered the incident.

Police said they did not reach the scene until about 30 minutes after a passerby’s call because the first officers dispatched were on motorcycles and the elevated road where the incident took place was for four-wheeled vehicles only.

Police said they were alerted to the incident after receiving a report from the passerby at around 3:35 a.m. that two men were being beaten by a group of four or five men.

The two men were taken to a hospital, but Atsuyuki Onishi, 34, of the city’s Higashi Ward died from stab wounds to the chest and abdomen. Takahiro Tsubone, 41, of Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, suffered serious injuries to his head.

Investigators said the attack took place on an elevated road that leads from the Sakai Line of the Hanshin Expressway toward Wakayama Prefecture. A car believed to be the one in which Onishi and Tsubone were riding was parked along the left side of the road, they added.

Ambulance personnel called to the scene separately arrived there first and found Onishi lying on his back and Tsubone in a sitting position against the road’s side wall, police said.

The two men had already been transported to the hospital by the time police reached the scene, investigators said.

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