Car rams into Tokyo crowds as stabber strikes in UK

Top News | 2 Jan 2019

Nine people were hurt, one seriously, when a man deliberately plowed his car into crowds celebrating New Year's Eve along a famous Tokyo street.

In Britain also on New Year's Eve, counter-terrorism police are investigating stabbings at Manchester Victoria train station that left three people injured, including a police officer.

With an "intent to murder," a man identified as 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe drove a small vehicle into Takeshita Street at 10 minutes past midnight, Tokyo police said.

Kusakabe told police he was acting in "retribution for the death penalty" without giving further details.

Police immediately cordoned off the street, which is usually packed with tourists trying to get a taste of Japan's extravagant youth and food culture.

A university student suffered serious injuries and was undergoing surgery.

One witness said it was a "ghastly scene" as "guys collapsed on the street."

According to local media, Kusakabe hit a total of eight people and assaulted another on the street.

Manchester police, meanwhile, said they were keeping an open mind as there was no intelligence suggesting a wider threat. A man is in custody and the injured were in a "serious" but not life-threatening condition.

A BBC producer who witnessed the attack described the assailant as wielding a large kitchen knife and who linked his actions to "bombings in other countries." Sam Clack added: "I heard the man say: As long as you keep bombing these countries this is going to keep happening."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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