In Pictures

Aum Shinrikyo: Images from the 1995 Tokyo Sarin attack

Japan has executed seven members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult over the deadly Sarin chemical attack on the Tokyo underground in 1995.

Here we look back at images of the attack and the events that followed.

WARNING: Some readers may find some of the images below distressing.

Shoko Asahara, or Chizuo Matsumoto, was the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo Sect in Japan Image copyright Getty Images

The Aum Shinrikyo cult was founded by Shoko Asahara, also known as Chizuo Matsumoto (above).

In 1995 it carried out a Sarin chemical attack that killed 13 people and injured thousands more.

Asahara was among the seven executed on Friday. Another six members, also linked to the country's worst terror incident, are still awaiting execution.

Japanese commuters are affected by the attack on 20 March 1995 Image copyright Shutterstock
Presentational white space

On 20 March 1995, cult members released the Sarin on the Tokyo subway.

They left punctured bags filled with liquid nerve agent on central train lines.

Passengers rescued from the station lie on the ground. Image copyright Shutterstock

The toxin struck victims down in a matter of seconds, leaving them choking and vomiting, some blinded and paralysed.

Tokyo Fire Department Haz-Mat team leave after decontamination work at Kasumigaseki Station Image copyright Shutterstock

Rescue workers had to wear hazmat suits and gas masks to help the injured and deal with the poison.

A commuter is treated by an emergency medical team at a make-shift shelter before being transported to hospital. Image copyright Getty Images

Many victims were treated by emergency medical teams at makeshift shelters before being transported to hospital.

Rescue workers carry the survivors to the emergency rescue tents at Tokyo Metro Tsukiji Station on March 20, 1995 in Tokyo. Image copyright Getty Images

Witnesses described noticing a strong chemical smell similar to paint thinner before feeling stinging fumes hitting their eyes.

Police officers make the raid on compounds of Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo on March 22, 1995. Image copyright Getty Images

Two days after the attack police raided the compounds of the Aum Shinrikyo cult.

Members of Aum Shinrikyo cult wait outside during the raid on the headquarters Image copyright Getty Images

The picture above shows Aum Shinrikyo members outside during the raid.

The cult began as a spiritual group mixing Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, later including elements of apocalyptic Christian prophesies.

A riot police officer stands guard outside the Aum Shinrikyo cult headquarters 6th compound as the raid continues on 11th May, 1995. Image copyright Getty Images

A riot police officer stands guard outside the Aum Shinrikyo cult headquarters 6th compound as the raids continued on 11 May 1995, searching for the mastermind behind the attacks.

Leader of Aum Shinrikyo Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, is seen after questioning at the Tokyo District Court on 25th September 1995. Image copyright Getty Images

On 16 May, Shoko Asahara was finally arrested. He is seen here in September, coming from a court session. Below he is seen in a TV image from 2003.

A TV grab shows Shoko Asahara, real name Chizuo Matsumoto on October 31, 2003 in Tokyo, Japan Image copyright Getty Images


More on this story