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Majority of victims in Kyoto Animation studio fire in 20s and 30s

KYOTO, Japan – Many victims of an arson attack on an animation studio in the western Japanese city of Kyoto were young with bright futures, some joining only in April, the company president said on Saturday, as the death told climbed to 34.

Thursday’s attack on Kyoto Animation, famous in Japan and overseas for its series and movies, was the worst mass killing in two decades in a country with some of the world’s lowest crime rates.

Company president Hideaki Hatta said many of the victims were young women.

“Some of them joined us just in April. And on the eighth of July, I gave them a small, but their first, bonus,” he said.

“People who had a promising future lost their lives. I don’t know what to say. Rather than feeling anger, I just don’t have words,” Hatta said.

Fifteen of the victims were in their 20s and 11 were in their 30s, public broadcaster NHK said. Six were in their 40s and one was at least 60. The age of the latest victim, a man who died in hospital, was not known. The names of the victims have not been disclosed.

The studio had about 160 employees with an average age of 33, according to its website.

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