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Five school friends among NY attack victims

Five of the eight victims of the New York truck rampage were part of a group from Argentina who were..

By admin , in USA , at November 1, 2017

Five of the eight victims of the New York truck rampage were part of a group from Argentina who were in the US to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation.

The party had rented bikes in the city and were reportedly on a cycling path in Lower Manhattan when they were mowed down by suspected terrorist Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov.

Argentina's foreign ministry confirmed and named the victims as Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij, and Hernan Ferruchi, from Rosario.

::'IS note' found after Manhattan truck attack

Image:Suspect Sayfullo Saipov. Pic: St. Charles County Police Department

A sixth member of the group, all graduates of the Argentine city's Polytechnic College, Martin Ludovico Marro, was among the 11 people injured in the attack and is recovering in hospital.

Mr Erlij, a 48-year-old businessman and steel mill owner, paid for the costs of the trip for some of his friends so they could make the class of 1987 reunion in the Big Apple, according to media reports in Argentina.

::What we know about NY terror attack suspect

Sayfullo Saipov caught on camera by a witness
Video:Suspect filmed fleeing after terror attack

Didier Reynders, Belgium's foreign minister, said a Belgian woman, from Roeselare, who was in New York with her sister and mother was also among those killed.

"I am deeply saddened to announce a Belgian victim in #Manhattan – I express my condolences to the family and friends," he wrote on Twitter.

The other two victims remain unidentified.

::'Hero cop risked his life' to shoot suspect

Damage to a school bus after it was hit by the New York terror truck
Video:Kids trapped after terror truck hits bus

The attack happened a short distance from the World Trade Center memorial, the site of the 9/11 terror attack in 2001, the deadliest in US history.

The suspect, a 29-year-old Uzbekistan national, drove 14 blocks before crashing into a school bus and jumping from the rented truck with two replica guns.

According to witnesses he shouted "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for "God is greatest".

The commercial truck and Uber driver, who lived in Tampa, Florida, and New Jersey, was then shot in the stomach by a police officer and is expected to survive after surgery.

Joe Borelli, a Republican New York City councillor, tweeted a photo of officer Ryan Nash and wrote: "Here's the hero cop the world should be talking about.

"Police Officer Ryan Nash risked his life to save others. Thank u Ryan, thank u #NYPD."

New Yorkers enjoy the annual Halloween Parade, despite Tuesday's terrorist attack in the city
Video:New Yorkers 'stronger than ever' after attack

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Donald Trump offered his condolences to the victims and said he had ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up its "extreme vetting" programme in a series of tweets.

The US President described the attack as the work of a "sick and deranged person".

The President's stringent controls on immigration from certain countries, which have faced staunch opposition, do not refer to Uzbekistan and would not have prevented the suspect from entering the US.

::New Yorkers urged to carry on after attack

The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017

We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017

On Wednesday, he criticised the current US visa system, blaming Democrats and called for "tougher", merit-based scheme.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the attack was carried out by a "lone wolf", suggesting the suspect acted alone and was not part of a wider network.

He reportedly left a note pledging allegiance to Islamic State which was discovered by authorities in the truck.

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