Sunday 25 August 2019

Manhattan van attack victims honoured as investigators seek answers

A woman cries during an interfaith vigil for peace in response to Manhattan Attack at Foley Square in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
A woman cries during an interfaith vigil for peace in response to Manhattan Attack at Foley Square in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

The eight people killed in the New York terror attack were remembered with a night time walk down the riverfront esplanade near the scene of Tuesday's atrocity.

Some of those marching carried candles as city lights twinkled on the water while others pushed bicycles in solidarity with the victims, who were struck on the long bike path that runs along Manhattan's Hudson River waterfront.

The mourners included Harry Kassen, a student at the Manhattan school where one of the victims, Nicholas Cleves, 23, worked part-time.

"You never think it is going to be someone you know," said Mr Kassen, 17.

He said he'd just recently worked with Cleves on lighting and sound for a school performance.

"We were up in the tech booth, chatting. Then, two weeks later, here we are. And he's gone," he said.

The march began near the spot where authorities say Sayfullo Saipov, 29, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, steered a rented van onto a bike path and sped towards the World Trade Centre.

He struck cyclists and pedestrians in his path and was shot by a police officer after crashing the vehicle into a school bus.

Two women carried the flag of Argentina, in remembrance of the five people from that country who were killed when the van ran into a group of friends who had come to New York together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their graduation.

The memorial walk and vigil took place hours after several of the Argentinian survivors of the attack visited a severely injured member of their group, Martin Marro, of Newton, Massachusetts, to tell him for the first time which of his friends had died.

"I think Martin had to know the truth. Maybe he already imagined that but now he knows and is a step that his friends wanted to take before returning to Argentina," Argentina's consul in New York, Mateo Estreme, told reporters. "It was something very emotional for all of them."

The New York Police Department's top counter-terrorism official, John Miller, said investigators still had not uncovered evidence that Saipov had any accomplices in the attack, but said information was still being gathered.

In their search for clues, FBI investigators have questioned Saipov's wife and some of his acquaintances, including a fellow immigrant from Uzbekistan, Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, who said he had gotten to know him when they were both Uber drivers.

On Thursday, Kadirov released a statement to through a person in touch with his family condemning the plot.

"It is so sad and unbelievable. This not from our religion. It is not acceptable. We as Muslims completely reject this kind of actions. No human being who has a heart can do this," the statement said.


PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News