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New York terror attack: What happened in New York? Here’s what we know so far

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What happened in New York?

Early reports suggest at least eight people have been killed after a rented van struck several cyclists and pedestrians in Manhattan, before a gunman got out with imitation weapons.

Police have confirmed that at least eight people were killed during the attack and said one person has been taken into custody.

NYPD confirmed officers are treating the incident as a terror attack and the FBI have joined police in the investigation.

New York terror attack: A police officerREUTERS

New York terror attack: A vehicle has ploughed into cyclists in New York

At a news conference, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said “this was a particularly cowardly act of terror.

"I want to ask all New Yorkers and all Americans to keep the families of all those lost in your prayers," he added.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said that there is “no evidence” to suggest the attack is part of a wider plot or scheme.

Meanwhile, New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill confirmed a 29-year-old male got out of the van after driving the wrong way down the bicycle lane and hitting several people, before coming to a halt after ploughing into a school bus.

He was brandishing two handguns and an officer at the scene “shot him in the abdomen”. The guns were later revealed to be a “paintball gun and a pellet gun”.

New York terror attack: Broken bikesREUTERS

New York terror attack: Police have confirmed a number of fatalities

A police statement on Twitter read: "At approximately 3:05pm a 29 y/o male drove a rented Home Depot truck onto the bike/pedestrian path at West St/Houston St driving south.

"The truck drove south on the path striking multiple people. 8 people were killed, 11 have serious but non-life threatening injuries.

"While driving south on the path the truck collided with a school bus at West St & Chambers St.

"After colliding with the school bus the man exited holding two firearms. An officer assigned to the area fired, striking him in the stomach.

"The driver of the truck, a male 29-years-old, was taken into custody. A paintball gun and pellet gun were recovered from the scene."

New York terror attack: Home Depot vanREUTERS

New York terror attack: The van allegedly used in the terror attack

An eyewitness told ABC Channel 7 that he saw a white pick-up truck drive south down the bike path alongside the West Side Highway at full speed and hit several people.

The witness, known as "Eugene”, said bodies were lying outside Stuyvesant High School, one of the city's most prestigious public schools.

There are several fatalities and numerous people injured

New York Police

He also reported hearing about nine or 10 shots, but was not sure where they came from. It is now thought that these could have come from police weapons.

Another witness told CBS News: “There was a huge accident and someone was screaming gun."

Shocking images show the wrecked Home Depot van that was allegedly used in the attack.

Another photo shows mangled bikes lying on the cycle path, which runs parallel to the West Side Highway on the western edge of Manhattan along the Hudson River

Melania Trump has tweeted: “My heart breaks for NYC today. Thoughts & prayers as we monitor the situation.”

New York terror attack victimREUTERS

New York terror attack: Police have urged people to stay away from the area

New York Police urged locals to stay away from West Side Highway and Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan as emergency services operation was under way.

Buildings are on lockdown and the bomb squad is at the scene while details of the incident remain unclear.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted that he is on his way to the scene of the incident, which took place yards away from the 9/11 memorial site.

He said: “I have been briefed with preliminary information on the situation in Lower Manhattan and am heading to the scene.”

US President Donald President and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had been briefed about the incident, their offices said.

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