Toyko driver arrested after 'deliberately crashing' into New Year revellers

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A vehicle plowed through a crowd of pedestrians celebrating New Year's Eve in Tokyo, Japan, in the early morning of January 1.

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

NHK footage showed a small box vehicle with a smashed front and paramedics carrying people on stretchers into ambulances.

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

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 reports by the Mainichi newspaper and other Japanese media that the suspect appeared to have planned to set his auto on fire, and said such possible motives were still under investigation.

Police inspect a auto whose driver rammed his vehicle into crowds on Takeshita street in Tokyo early January 1, 2019.

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Every New Year's Eve, the train line that includes Harajuku station runs all night.

Investigative sources quoted the man as saying he had perpetrated an act of terrorism "in retaliation for an execution" and "would not make any excuse" for his act.

It is not yet clear whether he was referring to a specific execution or the capital punishment system in Japan.

Manchester itself was the scene of a suicide bomb attack in May 2017 that killed 22 people as they left an Ariana Grande concert.

The incident occurred on the well-known Takeshita Street in the shopping and tourist district of Harajuku, which runs parallel to the famous Meiji shrine.

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