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Shots fired at AUM facility in Osaka • Tuesday June 17, 2003

Mainichi Daily News (Japan), June 14, 2003

OSAKA — Several shots have been fired at an AUM Shinrikyo facility in Osaka’s Nishinari-ku, but no one was injured in the incident, police said Saturday.

A mysterious caller to several media organizations claimed responsibility for the attack on the doomsday cult’s training facility.

“I fired three shots at the AUM building in Nishinari 9:01 p.m. today. My name is Kokuzoku Seibatsutai (Traitor Hunting Squad),” a man speaking in the Osaka dialect reportedly said over the phone some 50 minutes after the shooting incident.

Police received a report of the incident at about 9:15 p.m. Officers of the Nishinari Police Station found three bullet holes in one of the fourth-floor windows of the building soon afterward. Investigators recovered two bullets on the floor of the facility and another from the ceiling.

About six AUM members were inside the facility at the time but they were not hurt by the attack.

The cult, now calling itself “Aleph,” moved its Osaka Prefecture base from the city of Suita to Osaka’s Higshisumiyoshi-ku in March. However, they were forced to move again to Nishinari earlier this month after Higashisumiyoshi residents organized a campaign against them. Some 400 residents of Nishinari and the neighboring Naniwa-ku held a protest meeting against the cult Friday morning.

On May 30, shots were also fired into AUM’s training facility in Tokyo’s Suginami-ku.

A man calling himself “Kokuzoku Seibatsutai” also claimed responsibility on that occasion.

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