Tokyo: Nine Injured After Car Rams Pedestrians in 'Terror Attack'


At least nine people have been injured, one seriously, when a driver deliberately ploughed his auto into crowds celebrating New Year's Eve along a famous street in Japan's capital, Tokyo, according to police and media reports.

Police arrested Kazuhiro Kusakabe, 21, who was driving the rental vehicle with an Osaka license plate, on suspicion of attempted murder.

Kusakabe told the police he had driven from Osaka and meant to kill the pedestrians he hit.

Local media said a container with kerosene inside was found inside the rental vehicle.

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"I can't believe it, this is a place I'm familiar with, so it's very shocking", said Tatsuhiro Yaegashi, a 27-year-old worker in the area. He has reportedly been arrested for "suspicion of attempted murder", and told officers after the attack that he was intentionally committing a terrorist attack.

One witness told NHK it was a "ghastly scene". One victim is reportedly in a coma.

According to local media, Kusakabe hit a total of eight people and assaulted another on the street, which was closed to vehicle traffic at the time as revellers crammed the area to celebrate the arrival of 2019.

Kusakabe fled the scene, but the police found him in a nearby park about half an hour later. New year's eve is generally a muted affair in Tokyo.

There is no information so far to suggest foreign tourists were among the injured, the police spokesman said.