Portsmouth council boss tells of New York terror attack horror

A COUNCIL leader has told of the horrifying moment police swarmed the streets of New York after a deadly terror attack rocked the city.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, was holidaying in Manhattan when a terrorist mowed down cyclists and pedestrians yesterday.

The shocked civic chief said she was just a few streets away when the attack, which killed eight people, took place.

Taking to Twitter in the wake of the rampage, Cllr Jones described the incident – which is the deadliest terror atrocity to strike New York since September 11 – as ‘absolutely senseless’.

She said: ‘Thinking of those killed & injured in #ManhattanAttack I was 3 blocks away at the time of the attack & #NYPD presence in area was high.’

At least 11 other people have been injured after the terrorist, who law enforcement officials have named as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, from Uzbekistan, drove a rented Home Depot truck on to the path in West Street at about 3pm local time (7pm GMT).

A damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial killing eight (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) dc76fc45-d9f1-4ca9-81bd-212ea555

The driver was shot by police after jumping out of the vehicle with what turned out to be two fake guns.

He was taken to hospital and is in police custody. Officers said his injuries are not life-threatening.

Last night police investigating the rampage were seen surrounding a white Toyota minivan with Florida number plates in the car park of Home Depot in Passaic, New Jersey.

Saipov had allegedly rented the pick-up truck an hour before the attack from the state before unleashing terror on the streets of New York.

Cllr Donna Jones, Portsmouth City Council leader

He reportedly shouted ‘Allahu akbar’.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio described the attack as ‘a particularly cowardly act of terror’ that was ‘aimed at innocent civilians going about their daily lives’.

Meanwhile the UK Foreign Office said it was standing by to provide assistance but was not aware of any British citizens involved as yet.

Prime minister Theresa May tweeted that she was ‘appalled by this cowardly attack’, saying the UK stands with New York.

The US 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.

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