Auto attack injures 8 pedestrians in Tokyo during New Year's festivities

В Токио автомобиль въехал в толпу пешеходов

In the early hours of the new year, a man crashed his vehicle into pedestrians in Shibuya Ward in Tokyo, injuring nine people in what he claimed to be a terrorist attack, local media reported Tuesday.

With an "intent to murder", a man identified as 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe drove a small vehicle into Takeshita Street in Tokyo's fashion district of Harajuku at 10 minutes past midnight, a police spokesman told AFP.

Ten minutes after midnight in Tokyo on January 1 a van ploughed into pedestrians on a small street in the Shibuya Ward, injuring at least eight people.

NHK TV footage showed a small van with the entire front end smashed and officers and ambulance workers rushing to the scene.

According to national broadcaster NHK, Kusakabe told police he was acting in "retribution for the death penalty" without giving more precise details.

A man aged in his 20s has been taken into custody by police and eight people are so believed to have been injured in the attack.

Police declined to comment on the reports, saying such possible motives were still under investigation. It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to a specific execution or the country's system of capital punishment.

The attack occurred on Takeshita Street, which is a well-known shopping and tourist destination in the Harajuku area, near the Meiji Shrine.

Japan is a relatively crime free nation with strict gun-control laws.

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