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EXPERTS begin counseling for children at site of Japan school massacre

Updated:
IKEDA, Japan (AP) _ Mourners bid farewell on Monday to the last of the eight children killed in a stabbing attack at an elementary school last week, and counselors began visits to families in the shaken neighborhood.

Investigators re-enacted the crime at the school outside Osaka on Monday morning to put together the pieces of Friday's rampage, which began when the attacker burst in to a first-grade classroom.

The funeral for Yuka Kiso, 7, was held Monday in the Osaka suburb of Toyonaka. It was the last of the funerals for the young victims.

``We wanted to be with her as long as possible, so we delayed the funeral until today,'' her father, Kenichi Kiso, was quoted as saying by Kyodo News agency.

The funeral came as authorities were grappling with the implications of last week's shocking attack, the worst mass-killing since a doomsday cult killed 12 people in a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subways in 1995.

The Education Ministry has instructed all elementary, middle and high schools to re-evaluate campus security. Kyoto Prefecture, next to Osaka, has assigned 500 police officers to patrol the area's elementary schools in the wake of the attack, said prefectural spokesman Joji Kotani.

``This measure will be taken to ease concerns,'' Kotani said.

Schools in the area also began closing their front gates during the school day. Such gates are traditionally left open as a sign of the school system's openness to the community.

The accused killer, Mamoru Takuma, is a 37-year-old former janitor with a history of mental illness. Police have quoted him as saying that he wanted to be put to death for the crime.

Takuma was expected to be charged with murder and attempted murder at some point over the next few weeks.

The school, in this residential suburb of the western city of Osaka, will be closed until Wednesday. On Monday morning, its gate was flooded with flowers left to honor the victims.

Officials and teachers reconstructed the attack for investigators, using a fake knife. Adults took the roles of children, some of them wearing signs with the word ``victim'' written on them.

Authorities were also attempting to soothe the shattered nerves of children and families. A mental support team, with 55 experts from 10 organizations, has been set up. Experts accompanied by a teacher were to visit the homes of each of the approximately 700 students, said school official Kenichi Yoshida.

Thirteen children and two teachers were wounded. Eight who were initially in serious condition are making a steady recovery, Kyodo News agency reported.

Investigators have seized a hatchet, a small knife and an ice pick as well as 300 tablets on an unspecified drug from Takuma's house, police said.

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