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Published Tuesday, January 1, 2019
A car has rammed pedestrians on a busy Tokyo street that was closed to traffic for New Year festivities.
A 21-year-old man initially confessed to a terrorist act but later recanted, leaving investigators puzzled about his motives.
The car, which was driving in a wrong lane, bulldozed into revelers in Japan's capital city as it swerved into a shopping street bustling with people just after midnight, NHK reported.
The ramming is believed to have been intentional, as the street had been closed to traffic due to the New Year celebrations. Hundreds of people were heading to a nearby shrine to pray for good luck in the new year.
Eight people were injured in the incident, including one male university student who was taken to hospital in critical condition. Teenagers and adults in their 50s are among the victims.
The driver was identified as 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe. He initially attempted to flee the scene on foot but was located and apprehended by police some 20 minutes after the incident.
Kusakabe repeatedly changed his story when questioned about his motives. Initially, the 21-year-old claimed that he had carried out a terrorist attack. However, he then backtracked on that, saying instead that he had attempted a murder.
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