Five friends from Argentina were among those killed in a truck attack in New York on Tuesday.

Eight people were killed and 11 injured when the driver of the truck hit people on a cycle path in Lower Manhattan.

A 29-year-old man, reported to be an Uzbek immigrant, was shot and injured by police as he left the vehicle.

US President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to “step up” vetting measures in the wake of the attack.
The suspect reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) as he left the truck. Officials said it was a terror attack – the deadliest in the city since the 11 September attacks.

A note was found in the truck that referred to so-called Islamic State, law enforcement sources were quoted as saying by US media.
Who were the victims?

The deaths of the five Argentines were confirmed by the country’s foreign ministry. They were part of a group of 10 friends in New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their graduation from a polytechnic college in the central city of Rosario, Argentine media said.

One of the men who died, steel firm owner Ariel Erlij, helped pay for the friends’ trip, La Nación newspaper reported (in Spanish).

Argentina’s foreign ministry named the men – all reportedly aged 48 or 49 – as Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruch. Another of the friends, Martin Ludovico Marro, is being treated in hospital.

Three days of mourning have been declared in Rosario, Clarín newspaper reported. President Mauricio Macri expressed his “deep condolences” for the victims’ families on Twitter.

A Belgian national was also killed, Belgium’s foreign minister said. Two other victims have not yet been identified.

How did the attack unfold?

New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner James O’Neill said:

-Shortly after 15:00 local time (19:00 GMT), a white pick-up truck rented from retailer Home -Depot struck cyclists and pedestrians while being driven along the West St-Houston St path for many blocks
-The vehicle then hit a school bus, injuring two adults and two children on board, and came to a halt
-The driver emerged holding what appeared to be two handguns and made a statement “consistent with a terror attack”
-He was shot in the abdomen by a police officer stationed near the scene – he later underwent surgery for gunshot wounds
-A paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered from the scene
Mangled bicycles littered the scene of the attack, which occurred as much of the city was celebrating Halloween.

One witness, named as Eugene, told ABC Channel 7 that he saw the white pick-up truck driving quickly down the cycle path alongside the West Side Highway, near Stuyvesant High School, at full speed and hitting a number of people.

He also reported hearing about nine or 10 shots.

Another witness, who gave his name as Frank, told local TV network NY1 that he had seen a man running around an intersection and heard five to six gunshots.

“I saw he had something in his hand, but I couldn’t tell what it was. But they said that it was a gun…

“When the cops shot him, everybody started running away and it got a little bit crazy right there. So when I tried to look again, the guy was already down.”

Source : BBC

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