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Van slams into New Year's revelers on busy street in Tokyo

At least eight people were injured in what the attacker says was a 'terrorist attack'

Emergency personnel respond to the attack in Shibuya, Tokyo

Emergency personnel respond to the attack in Shibuya, Tokyo (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Ten minutes after midnight in Tokyo on Jan. 1 a van ploughed into pedestrians on a small street in the Shibuya Ward, injuring at least eight people.

Japanese media reports that a young man in his 20’s drove a rented minivan into a busy street shortly after revelers had rung in the New Year. When apprehended by police, the man declared that he had carried out a terrorist attack.

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

At 12:10 a.m., the small van began driving into pedestrians on the street, which was closed to vehicular traffic at the time because of revelers visiting the Meiji Shrine and attending New Year’s gatherings.

NHK reports that the minivan traveled approximately 130 meters into the crowd before stopping.

The driver initially fled the scene but was caught by police 20 minutes later. He has reportedly been arrested for “suspicion of attempted murder,” and told officers after the attack that he was intentionally committing a terrorist attack.

No further details about the attacker’s identity have been provided.

The victims of the New Year’s attack, including one teenager, are being cared for in nearby hospitals. One victim is reportedly in a coma.

Updated : 2021-06-13 11:10 GMT+08:00