Auto knocks down 8 people on iconic Tokyo street


At least nine people were injured when a man drove a minivan into a crowd of revellers on a famous Tokyo street on Tuesday.

A 19-year-old university student remains unconscious after being hit by the minicar shortly after midnight on Takeshita Street in the Harajuku district, which is normally packed with young shoppers and foreign tourists during daytime.

Police immediately cordoned off the street while the driver was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Kusakabe told the police he had meant to kill the pedestrians he hit "in retaliation for an execution".

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The police also found a 20-liter tanks of kerosene in the auto, which Kusakabe said he planned to use to burn the vehicle, according to the police. "Really scary, isn't it?" one bystander told NHK.

In a similar attack in 2008, a man who said he was exhausted of life drove a rental truck into a crowd of pedestrians in Tokyo before jumping out and stabbing several people. One victim is reportedly in a coma. A auto slammed into pedestrians early Tuesday on a street where people had gathered for New Year's festivities in downtown Tokyo.

He then fled on foot, but police caught him at a local park soon after, local media said.

Takeshita Street is packed with small shops and is considered the centre of youth culture and fashion in Japan, attracting tens of thousands of global tourists every day. The shrine is a popular New Year's Eve destination.