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Truck plows into crowd in New York in apparent terror attack

November 01, 2017, 1:37 UTC+3 NEW YORK

At least eight people were killed and eleven injured

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© Ivan Pilschikov/TASS

NEW YORK, November 1. /TASS/. At least eight people were killed when a box truck deliberately drove onto a bike path in Manhattan on Tuesday, hitting pedestrians and cyclists, US media and officials said.

"Based on the information we had at this moment this was an act of terror, a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference, adding that at least eight people were killed as a result.

New York police confirmed the death toll on Twitter, adding that 11 people have serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The US Department of Homeland Security described the incident as an "apparent act of terrorism."

"Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke has been briefed on the apparent act of terrorism that occurred this evening in New York City," the department’s Acting Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement. "The Department is closely monitoring the situation and working with our federal, state and local partners in responding to and investigating this tragedy."

US President Donald Trump described the incident in a Twitter post as "another attack by a very sick and deranged person."

"Law enforcement is following this closely," he added.

New York police said that at approximately 3:05 p.m. local time a 29-year-old man drove a rented Home Depot truck onto the bike/pedestrian path, striking multiple people. Later, he rammed a school bus and left his vehicle, holding two weapons, which were later identified as a pellet gun and a paintball gun. The attacker was shot in the stomach by a police officer and is now in custody.

CBS said the suspected perpetrator was of Uzbek origin. The driving license he had on him identified him as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, of Tampa, Florida.

At a media briefing later in the day, New Police Commissioner James O'Neill only confirmed that the suspect shouted words that indicate his ties with terrorists before being apprehended. He did not specify what these words were.

Earlier, CNN reported citing eyewitnesses that the suspect shouted "Allahu akbar" when he left the vehicle.

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