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Nine people deliberately injured by a car in central Tokyo

At least nine people were injured, one seriously, when a car deliberately plowed into crowds celebrating the New Year in central Tokyo, into Takeshita Street, which is packed with small shops and is considered the center of youth culture and fashion in Japan.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning on the well-known Takeshita Street in the shopping and tourist district of Harajuku. The road was closed to traffic over the New Year, largely because of its proximity to the Meiji Shrine, where  people make their way to offer prayers on the first day of the new year. The car barreled down the narrow street, which was packed with pedestrians. Police immediately cordoned off the street. The driver fled the scene and eluded arrest for around 20 minutes before police caught him.

Takeshita-street
Takeshita Street in Tokyo

The 21-year-old man has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder.Tokyo Metropolitan Police opened an investigation into the incident. In the car was discovered a big quantity of  kerosene. The suspect, identified as Kazuhiro Kusakabe, declared he was motivated to provide a reaction for the execution of Aum cult members involved years ago  in a sarin gas attack on a Tokyo subway.

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