• AFP-Jiji, Kyodo

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Hunters shot and killed a brown bear in Sapporo on Friday after it rampaged through the city, injuring four people, including a Self-Defense Forces officer, and lumbering across busy roads.

The city of Sapporo tweeted that the bear had been “exterminated,” with a local television station saying hunters had shot the bear.

Earlier, dramatic news footage showed the bear bounding along a residential street, crossing a busy road and clawing at the gates of a Ground Self-Defense Force barracks, causing alarmed troops to scatter.

One SDF officer was injured in the bear’s rampage in the city, which will host the Olympic marathon and racewalking events in August.

Another man in his 40s was mauled by the bear after it attacked him from behind, TV footage showed. His rib was broken but his injury was not life-threatening.

The rampage prompted local school closures and the cancellation of several flights at a small regional airport, NHK reported.

Earlier, government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told people in the Hokkaido region to be on alert.

“A total of four people, including one Self-Defense Forces member, have been attacked and injured by the brown bear. We express our sincere sympathy to them,” he said.

A 75-year-old man and a woman in her 80s were also attacked by the bear and suffered minor injuries.

Asian black bears are native to large parts of Japan, including the country’s main island, while brown bears roam Hokkaido further north.

The Japan Bear and Forest Society has warned that forest-dwelling bears are being spotted in greater numbers in areas inhabited by humans as they search for food.

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