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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 March, 2005, 08:16 GMT
Sarin attack remembered in Tokyo
Tokyo subway workers pray on the 10th anniversary of 1995's sarin attack
Subway staff led the commemorations
Railway staff, survivors and the Japanese prime minister have paid their respects at a shrine in Tokyo, 10 years after the city's subway gas attack.

In a Sunday morning ceremony officials prayed and left flowers for those killed when sarin nerve gas was released on underground trains.

Twelve people died and 5,000 were left with damaged health after the attack by the Aum Shinrikyo cult.

The re-named sect offered a "heartfelt apology" for the act.

Thirteen members of the cult have been sentenced to death over the attack and other crimes.

They include the founder of the "Supreme Truth" movement Shoko Asahara.

None of the death sentences have yet been carried out.

Still suffering

On March 20, 1995, five sect members burst plastic bags filled with the poisonous gas during the morning rush hour.

The cult believed the world was about to be plunged into an apocalyptic war.

As well as the dozen people killed, thousands were injured. Many of them still suffer from headaches, breathing troubles and dizziness.

Rescue workers at scene of 1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo
Thousands still suffer health problems

At 0800 on Sunday, (2300 GMT Saturday), subway staff led the commemorations at a temporary shrine.

"Even now I remember it so vividly. Frankly, I'd rather not talk about it," said Tatsuhide Nojiri, who was chief of one of the railway stations attacked.

Later in the day Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and government colleagues prayed before the altar.

Japanese security services say Aum has far fewer members than the 40,000 followers it had in 1995, but still exists under a new name, Aleph.

The group has promised to pay millions of dollars in damages to victims, but has come up with less than half of what it pledged.

See scenes from the poison gas attack 10 years ago

Death penalty for Japan cult guru
27 Feb 04 |  Asia-Pacific
A commute like no other
27 Feb 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Aum's lingering legacy
26 Feb 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Shoko Asahara
26 Feb 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Death for Japan cult chemist
30 Jan 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Rise of Japanese cults
14 May 03 |  Asia-Pacific

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