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9 Found Dead in 2 Suspected Group Suicides in Japan


Authorities in Japan say nine people have died in two apparent suicide pacts - the latest victims in a growing number of group suicide deaths in the country.

Officials say five men and one woman were found dead Friday, in a car in Saitama prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Authorities said charcoal stoves were found in the car.

In a separate case, officials say three people were found dead in a car in Japan's northern Aomori prefecture. Charcoal stoves were also found in that vehicle.

The number of Japanese killing themselves in groups has increased dramatically in recent years, with many of them meeting over the Internet. In 2005, 91 people died from apparent group suicides, compared to 55 in 2004, and 34 deaths the year before.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.