AUM cult leader, followers executed for deadly 1995 sarin attack on Japan's subways
AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, who was sentenced for death for being the mastermind behind the deadly sarin gas attacks in 1995 on Tokyo's subways and other plots which resulted in 29 lives being lost, was executed by hanging, sources close to the matter said Friday.
Other members who were involved in deadly AUM-related attacks, were also executed Friday, the sources said.
Asahara, 63, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, was the first to be hanged from the 13 cult members currently on death row, for their roles in a number of fatal crimes carried out by the cult.
Asahara was arrested two months after the attack on the subway system, for being the mastermind behind the attack which used nerve gas and resulted in the killing of thirteen people and leaving more than 6,000 others with severe injuries.
The group was also held responsible for an earlier sarin attack on June 27, 1994, in a parking lot near the houses of judges in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, which killed eight people.
AUM Shinrikyo renamed itself Aleph in January 2000. In 2007 a senior AUM disciple and his followers left Aleph to launch a splinter group called Hikari no Wa (Circle of Rainbow Light).