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The executions Friday of a doomsday cult leader and six of his followers closed a chapter on one of Japan's most shocking crimes, the poison gas attack on rush-hour commuters in Tokyo's subway that killed 13 people and sickened more than 6,000 .Shoko Asahara, the bearded, self-proclaimed guru who had recruited scientists and others to his cult, was found two months later, hiding in a compartment in a building ceiling.The executions of the 63-year-old Asahara and the six cult members were announced by the Justice Ministry after they had been hanged, as is the practice in Japan. The subway attack was the most notorious of the cult's crimes, which was blamed for 27 deaths in all.The seven executions in one day were the most since Japan began releasing information on executions in 1998 .Japan hangs several people in an average year but keeps the executions highly secretive. The convicted also assaulted and murdered wayward followers and people who helped members leave the cult.The cult claimed 10,000 members in Japan and 30,000 in Russia.
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