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President instructs Cabinet to tighten security after metro killing
Central News Agency
2014-05-23 11:43 PM
Taipei, May 23 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday he has instructed the Cabinet to step up police presence at Taiwan's public transportation systems, while calling on the public not to play up a bloody knife attack on a Taipei Metro train that left four dead and 24 injured this week. The incident exposed the lack of police manpower at metro train stations, Ma said at the Presidential Office, in his first public address on the incident. Ma said he has instructed the Cabinet to increase the police force at public transportation systems, including at airports and seaports, and on buses, subway and railway trains, as well as high speed rails. The government will also conduct an overall review of its police deployment and the mechanisms to monitor and report such incidents, Ma added. "We are shocked, in agony and cannot believe that such a horrifying tragedy could occur in Taiwan," he said. The president said he was "truly sad" when thinking about what the victims' families were going through.

However, he said he was proud of Taiwanese people's uprightness and kindness in such tragic moments. A brave man tried to protect a group of passengers, holding only an umbrella in his hand as he tried to fend off the attacker, and other courageous passengers helped to subdue the suspect with no regard for their own safety, Ma said. Meanwhile, he called on the press and the public not to circulate photos of the crime scene so as to reduce public fear and the likelihood of copycat crimes. "This tragedy was an act of violence instead of an act of heroism and should not be played up," Ma said. He also called on citizens to extend care to people around them. Perhaps a tragedy could be stopped by simply an act of kindness or an exchange of words, he said. The unprecedented Wednesday killing shook the nation after 21-year-old college student Cheng Chieh allegedly killed four people and injured 24 others in a five-minute stabbing spree on a Taipei Metro train running on the Bannan (blue) line. (By Kelvin Huang and Christie Chen)

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