Uzbek President offers to help US in probe of New York City terror attack

Police investigators examining a truck that was used in an attack on the West Side Highway in Manhattan, New York, on Nov 1, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (AFP, REUTERS) - The president of Uzbekistan on Wednesday (Nov 1) offered to help US authorities in the investigation of the attack in New York where a truck driver, reportedly an Uzbek national, mowed down passersbys, killing eight.

"Uzbekistan is ready to use all forces and resources to help in the investigation of this act of terror," President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said, offering condolences to US President Donald Trump in a statement on the foreign ministry's website.

Uzbekistan is investigating reports that the man was a citizen of the Central Asian nation, an Uzbek Foreign Ministry official told reporters on Wednesday (Nov 1).

The official provided no other information.

A man driving a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path in New York City on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring about a dozen in what authorities said was an act of terrorism.

A US law enforcement official described the suspect as a US immigrant born in Uzbekistan, a landlocked, predominantly Muslim country in Central Asia that was part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991.

US police declined to publicly identify the man, but a source familiar with the investigation said his name was Sayfullo Saipov, 29.

CNN and other US media said Saipov had left a note saying he carried out the attack in the name of the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and that he had shouted "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is greatest" - when he jumped out of his truck.

He had emigrated to the United States in 2010 and lived in Florida, other US media reported.

Thousands of men from Central Asia have been fighting in ISIS ranks in Syria and Iraq, and Uzbek nationals or ethnic Uzbeks have carried out several attacks on civilians in Europe this year.

On New Year's day, an Uzbek gunman burst into a nightclub in the Turkish city of Istanbul and killed 39 people.

In April, an ethnic Uzbek man born in Kyrgyzstan blew up a metro train in the Russian city of St Petersburg, killing at least 15 people, including himself.

That same month, an Uzbek man rammed a truck into a crowd in Stockholm, killing four people.

All the attacks were linked to or claimed by ISIS.

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