Japan police arrest 20 for 63-year-old's death

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TOKYO, Oct 15 (Reuters) Police in central Japan arrested 20 members of a religious group on suspicion of beating a 63-year-old woman to death, Kyodo news agency and national broadcaster NHK said.

The woman, who died last month in Nagano, central Japan, appeared to have been beaten in the face and stomach, media reports said.

Police had originally arrested four of the woman's family members, including the woman's husband, suspecting she had been beaten at home. But police began investigating the ''Kigenkai'' religious group after learning that the family were all members.

Those arrested were aged between 15 and 80.

The Mainichi newspaper quoted sources saying the religious group, with 400 members across Japan, sought offerings from its followers and and distributed water it claimed would cure incurable diseases.

REUTERS SKB BD1942

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