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Bolivia airport stabbings leave 11 injured

Attacker reported to be suffering mental health issues uses kitchen knife to attack passengers in La Paz.

Last updated: 27 Jun 2014 07:18
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A man has injured 11 people with a kitchen knife during an attack at La Paz international airport, authorities said.

Hospital officials said on Thursday most of the wounds did not appear to be life-threatening although eight of the victims were kept for observation.

They said one woman underwent surgery for an abdominal wound and another had a punctured liver. Among the wounded was the police officer, who arrested the man.

The deputy interior minister, Jorge Perez, said the attacker told police he "heard voices" and went on the attack to defend himself.

Perez said the man targeted passengers who were lining up to board local flights. 

Police identified the attacker as Javier Virgilio Cusi, a 41-year-old from the highlands town of Santa Rosa.

"He gives incoherent accounts. He says he confused his victims with hens," police commander Adolfo Cardenas said.

All of the victims were Bolivians, and most were women, officials said.

One of the wounded told PAT television that the attacker struck many victims in the back.

Cusi's court-appointed lawyer, Monica Irusta, said that he had been undergoing psychiatric treatment and that a psychological exam had been ordered.

She said his declarations were incoherent. At one point, she added, Cusi said he went to the airport to meet with God. At another, he said he went to sell domestic animals, she said.

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