9 injured as vehicle rams into New Year's revelers in Tokyo

A car is inspected by police after it injured several pedestrians on Takeshita Street in Tokyo

YUTA OMORI VIA APA car is inspected by police after it injured several pedestrians on Takeshita Street in Tokyo

There was a 20-liter tank of kerosene in the rental auto, which he said he planned to use to burn the vehicle, the investigative sources said.

But police said they were still investigating whether the man was actually connected to the doomsday cult.

Police arrested Kazuhiro Kusakabe, 21, who was driving a rental vehicle with Osaka license plates, on suspicion of attempted murder. He had been driving a rental vehicle with an Osaka license plate, Kyodo reported.

"It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to a specific execution or Japan's system of capital punishment", the news agency reported.

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Kusakabe had tried to flee the scene but was captured about 20 minutes after the incident, RT reported.

The vehicle barreled down the narrow street, which was packed with pedestrians, at around 12.10 a.m., on New Year's day, police said.

Investigative sources quoted the man as allegedly saying he had perpetrated an act of terrorism "in retaliation for an execution" and "would not make any excuses" for his actions. Most of those executed, or 13, were cultists of the Aum Shinrikyo group that was responsible for the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo Metro during morning rush hour, which killed 13 and sickened thousands of others.

The crash occurred early Tuesday on Takeshita Dori, a road well known to tourists and pop culture and fashion fans that runs right by Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, Shibuya ward.

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Meanwhile in Germany, police have detained a 50-year-old man on suspicion of ramming his vehicle into a crowd of people after midnight on New Year's Eve at a crowded plaza in the north-western town of Bottrop.

Every New Year's Eve, the train line that includes Harajuku station runs all night. "This is a place I'm familiar with, so it's very shocking", Tatsuhiro Yaegashi, a 27-year-old worker in the area, said according to Reuters.

He is suspected of intentionally trying to kill people by driving the vehicle into them in the street.

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