Japan marks 21st anniversary of Tokyo sarin attacks

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Tokyo, March 20 (IANS) Japan on Sunday marked the 21st anniversary of the deadly sarin gas attack that left 13 people killed and thousands injured in a Japanese subway station.

A memorial service was held at a major subway station in Tokyo to commemorate the lives lost 21 years ago in the Aum Shinrikyo cult’s attack, the Japan Times reported.

Tokyo Metro Co. employees along with the victims’ families and regular commuters, held a minute’s silence at the Kasumigaseki station, with mourners placing flowers and paying their respects.

The March 20, 1995, attacks left two of the station’s staff members and 11 commuters killed. Around 6,000 people were injured in the coordinated attack in Tokyo.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after laying flowers vowed to do his utmost to ensure such a terror attack would never take place in the country.

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The Aum cult’s leader known as Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, along with nine other cult members, was sentenced to death in connection with the attacks.

As many as five Aum members launched a coordinated chemical attack on the Tokyo subway, one of the world’s busiest.

Liquid sarin was placed in basic plastic bags and each attack team wrapped the bags in a layer of newspaper to conceal the deadly contents.

The cult’s initial plan was to release the sarin through aerosols to achieve a wider dispersion of the gas, but the plan flopped.

The group was also held responsible for an earlier sarin attack on June 27, 1994, in a parking lot near housing for judges in Matsumoto, Nagano prefecture, which killed eight people.

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