Hurt in Tokyo New Year's Day Car Attack

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

A minivan slammed into pedestrians early Tuesday on a street where people had gathered for New Year's Eve festivities in downtown Tokyo, police said.

The suspect, 21, Kazuhiro Kusakabe, was arrested and being questioned, Tokyo Metropolitan Police said on customary condition of anonymity.

Every New Year's Eve, the train line that includes Harajuku station runs all night for people welcoming the new year with a shrine visit.

Local TV footage showed the small van with a smashed-up front end as ambulance workers and police officers rushed to the scene.

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Police told broadcaster NHK that he initially told then he had conducted a terrorist act, but then later claimed it was related to executions.

A large tank filled with kerosene was found in the vehicle, police said.

The attacker, who reportedly drove the vehicle from Osaka, has told investigators that he planned to burn the vehicle, private network Fuji TV reported. A 19-year-old university student remains unconscious after being hit by the minicar shortly after midnight on the well-known shopping street in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, which is normally packed with young shoppers and foreign tourists during daylight hours.

One witness told NHK the scene was "ghastly".

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He drove the wrong way on the one-way street and hit eight men aged between 19 and 51 while traveling around 140 meters, the police said.

A police spokesman said the driver had been detained but has not given out any further details on the identity of the suspect.

Police said one teenage boy had been taken to the hospital after the attack, where he is undergoing an operation.

Kusakabe was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police said. Local media reported the student was in a coma.

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No Filipino was hurt after a auto rammed into a crowd of revelers in Central Tokyo on New Year's Day, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.

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