BROTHERS IN ARMS New York terror attack victims named as five friends celebrating their school graduation 30th anniversary
A GROUP of five pals from Argentina killed in a terror truck attack in New York last night have been named.
Panic spread through the streets of Manhattan when a rental truck allegedly driven by Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was ploughed into pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path.
Eight people have been confirmed dead in the carnage so far with at least 11 more injured.
Five of those to lose their lives were Argentinian citizens, the country’s government has now confirmed.
The group of friends were celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation from Polytechnic College in the city of Rosario in central Argentina.
A statement from the ministry confirmed the deaths of Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi .
A sixth Argentinian man with the group named as Martin Ludovico Marro is being treated at the Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan, the ministry added.
Cops said a man drove a rented Home Depot truck on to the cycle path on West Street at around 3pm local time (7pm GMT) on Tuesday, killing eight people and leaving at least 11 others injured.
The driver, who was later named by law enforcement officials as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, from Uzbekistan, was shot by police after jumping out of the vehicle with what turned out to be two fake guns.
It later emerged Saipov had been working as an Uber driver after passing a background check, according to a spokeswoman for the app.
In a statement, the firm added: "We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victims and their families.
"We have reached out to law enforcement to provide our full assistance."
The suspect was taken to hospital and is in police custody. Officers said his injuries are not life-threatening.
According to reports in Argentina, the five victims were part of a group of 10 people.
Of them, four were unharmed and communicated with their families in the aftermath of the attack - the deadliest in New York since 9/11.
One of the members of the group - Ariel Erlij - paid for the trip for two of his former classmates, who could not afford the cost of the tickets, reports said.
Argentina's president Mauricio Macri tweeted "Profoundly moved by the tragic deaths this afternoon in NY.
"We are at the disposal of the families of the Argentinian victims."
And Argentinian foreign minister Jorge Faurie said that his heart was with the family and friends of those who had died "at this moment of deep and inexplicable pain".
A Belgian national was also among those killed in the attack.
The country's deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders said on Twitter: "I am deeply saddened to announce a Belgian victim in #Manhattan - I express my condolences to the family and friends."
And the German government has said a female German citizen is also among the injured, although no details were given on her condition.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, wrote on Twitter: "Horrified at the evil terrorist #ManhattanAttack. Our hearts go out to the victims + families. From Berlin to NYC: We stand with you."
In a statement US President Donald Trump praised the actions of the first responders and tweeted that the incident "looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person".
The president also tweeted: "We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!"
The terrorist group has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mr Trump later said on Twitter he had ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up its already "extreme vetting" programme, adding: "Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!"
What we know so far:
- Eight people have been killed and 11 injured in a terror attack in New York City on Halloween
- A rented pickup truck careered down a busy cycle path for almost a mile at 3.05pm (7.05pm GMT) close to the World Trade Center in Manhattan before smashing into a school bus
- The suspected driver fled the vehicle brandishing a paintball gun and a pellet gun in each hand, while witnesses claim he shouted "Allahu Akbar"
- The suspect was shot in the stomach by police and was rushed to hospital - he is expected to survive
- The suspect was named by law enforcement officials as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who is understood to have moved to Tampa, Florida, from Uzbekistan in 2010
- Officers confirmed they were treating the incident as a terror attack
- A Belgian national and five Argentine citizens are among the eight people killed in the deadliest terror attack in New York since 9/11
- Two adults and two children were injured on a school bus after the terror truck smashed into it, with one of the kids believed to be in a critical condition
- President Donald Trump tweeted that the New York terror attack was carried out by a "very sick and deranged person" and added that "we must not allow ISIS to return, or enter our country"
Meanwhile the UK Foreign Office has said it is standing by to provide assistance to any Britons affected by the atrocity.
A spokesman said: "We are in contact with the local authorities and stand ready to provide any assistance but are not aware of any British citizens involved as yet."
Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted that she was "appalled by this cowardly attack", adding: "My thoughts are with all affected. Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism. UK stands with #NYC."
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York described the attack as "a particularly cowardly act of terror" that was "aimed at innocent civilians going about their daily lives".
New York governor Andrew Cuomo said it was a "lone wolf" attack, and there was no evidence it was part of a wider plot.