Singer was covered in blood

Singer was covered in blood
Members of Japanese female pop group AKB48 Rina Kawaei (left) and Anna Iriyama speak to the media as they are discharged from a hospital in Morioka, Iwate prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo May 26, 2014.

Bags are seldom checked in Japan when pop stars meet their fans.

And this may have led to a shocking attack that has stunned the country known for its low rate of violent crimes.

On Sunday, a man wielding a saw slashed two members of the hugely popular Japanese girl group AKB48 during a meet-and-greet event in Takizawa, Iwate prefecture in Japan's north-east.

The two girls were in a booth shaking hands with their fans when the man, who was waiting in line, suddenly attacked them with what was reported as a 50cm-long saw.

The right thumb of Rina Kawaei, 19, was cut and broken while Anna Iriyama, 18, was cut on her right little finger, which was also broken during the scuffle. They also had small cuts on their heads.

An event staff member had lacerations on his left hand.

The girls underwent emergency surgery and their condition is stable, their manager told Japanese media. Reports last night said they had been discharged from hospital.

The Japan Times reported that the attacker was Satoru Umeta, 24, an unemployed man who is in police custody for attempted murder.

The suspect told police, "I attempted to kill people" and "I didn't care whom", Jiji Press reported, citing unnamed police sources.

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