WATCH: What we know so far about the New York terror attack

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A man in a rented van mowed down cyclists and pedestrians in New York, killing eight people.

Five friends from Argentina celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation were among those killed when a rental truck was driven into pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path in New York.

Investigators next to the killer's rental truck

Investigators next to the killer's rental truck

The men were reportedly part of a group of 10 friends exploring Manhattan on bicycles when the truck struck in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday.

In response to the atrocity - the deadliest terror attack to strike New York since September 11 - president Donald Trump ordered the security services to "step up" vetting procedures.

Eight people were killed and at least 11 others injured after a man drove the rented Home Depot truck on to the path on West Street at around 3pm local time (7pm GMT).

The driver, who has been identified 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. He was taken to hospital and is in police custody. Officers said his injuries are not life-threatening.

Hours after the attack, the names of the first victims emerged as Argentina's foreign ministry said Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi had died.

The group were marking three decades since their graduation from Polytechnic College in the city of Rosario in central Argentina.

A sixth Argentinian man with the group, Martin Ludovico Marro, was taken to the Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan.

A Belgian national was also among the dead, the country's deputy prime minister said.