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Japanese Red Army founder Shigenobu freed after 20 years


The co-founder of the Japanese Red Army militant group has been freed from prison after serving 20 years for her part in a 1974 embassy siege.

Fusako Shigenobu, 76, had evaded capture for decades before being arrested in Osaka in 2000.

Her once-feared group had aimed to provoke a global socialist revolution through high-profile terror acts.

They carried out a series of hostage-takings and hijackings, as well as a deadly attack on an Israeli airport.

But Shigenobu served time for the 1974 attack on the French embassy in The Hague, in which the ambassador and a number of others were taken hostage by three Red Army militants for 100 hours.

The siege ended after France freed a Red Army militant and the group flew to Syria.


Shigenobu did not take part in the attack herself, but a Japanese court found in 2006 she had helped co-ordinate it, sentencing her to 20 years for her role.


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