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Japanese horror: Two pop idols attacked by saw-wielding man

Japanese horror: Two pop idols attacked by saw-wielding man
Two members of a Japanese idol group AKB48, consisting of 140 girls, have been hospitalized after a saw-wielding man suddenly appeared from a crowd of fans and attacked them at a ‘handshake’ event in Iwate Prefecture on Sunday, Japanese media reported.

The members of the pop group, Rina Kawaei 19, and Anna Iriyama 18, were brutally attacked at a fan event in Takizawa, the company behind Japan’s idol group, AKS, said in a statement on its website.

The attacker, a 24 year old man, was waiting in line with hundreds of other fans, but suddenly he took out a 50-cm saw and started swinging it, Mainichi reported. The group’s staff member who was also injured, was protecting the girls and tried to stop the attacker.

“I saw with my eyes, unblocked view, of my girls running out in panic, Kawaei on the floor screaming and crying, in blood. I might never forget this. Something is lost today, that bond between fans and these idols that you can meet, and it will never be the same again,” a fan wrote on her Instagram account @ energywen.

So far the motive behind the attack is unclear.

The pop singers together with a member of their staff sustained multiple cut injuries. Both Kawaei and Iriyama suffered broken bones and lacerations to their right hands, AKB48 Manager Yuasa Hiroshi told Japanese media at a press-briefing after the incident. Additionally Iriyama suffered lacerations to the head, he said.

The suspect, Satoru Umeta, unemployed, from Towada in neighboring Aomori, has been detained by police on suspicion of attempted murder.

The all-girl AKB48pop group is hugely popular in Japan. AKB48 consists of 140 members divided into several teams. In November 2010, Guinness World Records named AKB48 as the largest pop group. The group has been characterized by Japanese media as a social phenomenon. The pop idols have inspired sister groups abroad, including one in Jakarta called JKT48.