Paramedics and an emergency doctor bend over a man who had been run over by a auto near the Museum Folkwang in North Rhine-Westphalia, Essen, on Tuesday.
German police said the man rammed his auto into pedestrians in a crowded plaza in the north-west town of Bottrop, just after midnight on New Year's Eve.
Angela Lüttmann, a spokeswoman for Münster police, could not immediately confirm whether the driver was German but said he came from Essen.
The attacks began shortly after midnight on Jan.1, first in Bottrop in western Germany and later in Essen.
The victims included Syrian and Afghan nationals, police said.
The unemployed man reportedly told police that 'the high number of foreigners is a problem for Germany that he wants to solve, ' said Spiegel.
They said there was also preliminary information that the man was mentally ill but he had no prior police record.
And in Tokyo a 21-year-old man is under arrest after authorities say he deliberately slammed into revelers gathered in a bustling downtown district early Tuesday, hitting eight. Two other attempts by the driver to drive into other people failed.
The attack occurred after midnight on New Year's Eve at a crowded plaza in Bottrop. One remains in the hospital, according to police.
It's not the first time that a vehicle has been used as an apparent weapon in Germany. In 2008, a man killed several people after driving into a crowd of pedestrians, before jumping out and stabbing people with a knife, Reuters reports.
According to CNN, in 2016 alone there were over 420 physical attacks on asylum seekers and refugees in Germany and almost 750 related acts of arson and property damage.