Friday, 14 Dec, 2007 Offbeat
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Samurai Swords to be Banned in UK

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The UK government announced that samurai swords will be banned by the end of the year because they were used in some serious attacks this year.

The sale, import and hire of samurai swords is going to be illegal in UK. Those who do not follow the ban would be punished with six months in jail and a £5,000 fine.

However, those who posses the genuine Japanese swords and martial arts connoisseurs would be exempt from the ban. According to the government report there was more than 80 serious crimes where imitations of samurai swords were involved over the last four years.

Until now samurai swords can be bought at martial arts shops and on the internet. From the April next year it is planned to ban their sale and add them to Offensive Weapons Order. Currently, 17 weapons are included in the list, including knuckle-dusters and batons. Vernon Coaker, a Home Office Minister said that these swords become dangerous weapons in the wrong hands.

Last year, 11 people were hurt by a man in attack with samurai swords at Roman Catholic Church. Another case was registered when a man was hacking a young woman with a samurai sword. The numerous cases of using these swords in incidents that present a thread to society lead to a decision to ban them.

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