Vehicle slams into pedestrians on Tokyo road, injuring eight people

A vehicle is inspected by police after several pedestrians were injured in Tokyo early Tuesday Jan. 1

21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe was reportedly arrested in Tokyo on suspicion of attempted murder after plowing his rental auto, fitted with an Osaka license plate, into people on the Takeshita Street in the city's Harajuku district, which was closed to vehicles for the first day of the year.

Police inspect a auto whose driver rammed his vehicle into crowds on Takeshita street in Tokyo early January 1, 2019. There was a tank of kerosene in the rental auto, which he said he planned to use to burn the vehicle, the investigative sources said.

According to local media, Kusakabe hit a total of eight people and assaulted another on the street, which was closed to traffic for the New Year celebrations. It was not clear if he was referring to a specific execution or capital punishment in general.

The people injured ranged in age from teenagers to people in their 50s, including a male university student who remains in critical condition.

Police said the man was in his 20s and had an "intent to murder".

Japanese television showed a grey coloured vehicle that was badly damaged in the front and dozens of police officers at the scene.

A ninth person was injured after Kusakabe got out of the auto and punched him, police said.

Crowds had gathered in Takeshita Dori, a very popular street in the fashionable Harajuku district, to ring in the new year when the man struck. At least seven people were killed and a dozen injured.

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