Japanese girl group AKB48 attacked by fan with a saw

Two members of the popular band were left hospitalised after a man slashed them

Japanese girl group AKB48 attacked by fan with a saw

Photo: Getty

Two members of popular Japanese pop group AKB48 were left hospitalised after a fan attacked them with a saw.

Rina Kawaei, 19, and Anna Iriyama, 18, were meeting with fans in the city of Takizawa on Sunday, when a man lunged forward and slashed them, BBC News reports. They both suffered cuts on their hands and heads and a member of their staff was also injured.

Police have arrested a 24-year-old man, identified as Satoru Umeta. A gig planned last night in Tokyo and other fan events have also been cancelled.

The group hold the world record for being the world's largest pop band. Their name AKB stands for Akihabara, the district of Tokyo where the group has its own theatre and performs most days.

The number 48 refers to the original number of members of the band, although that number has increased to over 140 names.

Each year, fans vote on who gets to join the band from over 200 candidates. Members of the group have to adhere to strict rules from their management, and they are not allowed to date people.

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