A man in a rented ute has driven onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Centre memorial in New York City, killing eight people and injuring 11 others in what the Mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror”.
The 29-year-old driver was shot in the abdomen by police and taken into custody after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a paintball gun and a pellet gun and shouting “Allahu Akbar!” officials said.
The suspect, who has been identified in US media reports as Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, was taken to a local hospital but his condition was not immediately released.
Sayfullo Saipov in an undated mugshot from the St Charles County Department of Corrections.
Photo: Suspected attacker Sayfullo Saipov is an immigrant from Uzbekistan. (AP: KMOV)
New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill was asked at a news conference whether the suspect shouted the phrase, which means “God is great” in Arabic, or something like it.
Commissioner O’Neill replied: “Yeah. He did make a statement when he exited the vehicle,” though he declined to elaborate. abc.net.au
An elite Israeli military force that operates undercover stormed the al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron and shot dead a 27-year-old Palestinian, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.
Abdullah al-Shalaldeh was killed by five rounds fired early on Thursday after 21 members of the elite unit – known as Mustaarabin – barged into the hospital room of his cousin, Azzam al-Shalaldeh, a ministry statement said.
The commandos wanted to question Azzam – who required surgery after earlier being shot by Israeli security forces – and his cousin tried to prevent them from doing so when the Israelis opened fire.
Following the killing of Abdullah, the Israeli force arrested Azzam who was recovering at the hospital.
Al Jazeera was unable to reach a spokesperson from the Israeli police. Israel’s internal security services confirmed the raid on the hospital, according to Agence-France Presse news agency.
CCTV footage posted on Twitter showed the Mustaarabin commandos entering the hospital moments before the shooting.
The Mustaarabin, a unit of Arabic-speaking fighters in the Israeli military, recently gained notoreity after a video surfaced of them infiltrating a Palestinian protest – wearing masks and speaking in Arabic. news24.com
American drones strikes may have killed as many as 40 Yemeni civilians over the past year, the UN reported on Monday, offering a tally of the human cost of the long-running US campaign against al Qaeda in Yemen, which has continued amid the chaos of country’s current war.
The data on drone strikes came from the latest report on Yemen issued by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner For Human Rights (OHCHR), which compiled accounts of human rights violations from July 1, 2014 to June 30 of this year.
The US first launched armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over Yemen in 2002, but the bulk of strikes carried out by the aircraft have taken place since since 2011. According to figures maintained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Drone War program, at least 101 people have been killed by confirmed drone strikes in Yemen, plus 26 to 61 others killed by “possible extra drone strikes.” Between 156 and 365 civilians have also been killed in other covert missions since 2002, according to the group.
If accurate, the UN’s estimates would represent a significant rise in confirmed civilian casualties in the country as a result of drone strikes. mintpressnews.com
Saudi-led airstrikes killed 15 people and wounded dozens across Yemen late on Saturday, the Houthi-run Saba news agency reported.
The dead included five women and two children in attacks on Saada and Marib provinces, the agency said.
A Saudi-led Arab coalition has been bombarding Houthi rebels and allied army units since 26 March in a campaign to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.
Hadi, Saudi Arabia’s ally, was pushed aside last year when Houthis advancing from their northern strongholds overran the government in the capital, Sana’a, and went on to capture lands to the south.
The Houthis are allied to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who still has the loyalty of much of the army.
UN-sponsored talks in Geneva between Yemen’s warring parties ended on Friday without agreement on a ceasefire, an outcome relief agencies had sought in order to support efforts to stave off what many see as a humanitarian disaster. theguardian.com
Police have reportedly been allowed to use live rounds as tensions flare in the eastern Ukrainian town of Konstantinovka, where an eight-year-old girl was killed in a hit-and-run accident by a Ukrainian forces’ armored vehicle.
Tensions have been boiling in Konstantinovka after Ukrainian soldiers driving through the town at high speed lost control of their vehicle and ran into a crowd of pedestrians, hitting a woman with a baby in a stroller and killing the older girl.
“The accident occurred at the Lomonosov Street near City Hospital No. 5. Three pedestrians suffered under the wheels of the fighting vehicle: A girl aged eight died on the spot, a woman and a child in a stroller were taken to hospital,” Ukraine’s Interior Ministry reported Monday night. rt.com
A U.S.-led coalition airstrike killed at least 50 Syrian civilians late last month when it targeted a headquarters of Islamic State extremists in northern Syria, according to an eyewitness and a Syrian opposition human rights organization.
The civilians were being held in a makeshift jail in the town of Al Bab, close to the Turkish border, when the aircraft struck on the evening of Dec. 28, the witnesses said. The building, called the Al Saraya, a government center, was leveled in the airstrike. It was days before civil defense workers could dig out the victims’ bodies.
The U.S. Central Command, which had not previously announced the airstrike, confirmed the attack Saturday in response to repeated McClatchy inquiries. “Coalition aircraft did strike and destroy an ISIL headquarters building in Al Bab on Dec. 28,” Col. Patrick S. Ryder said in an email.
He said a review of the airstrike showed no evidence of civilian casualties but offered to examine any additional information, “since we take all allegations seriously.” ISIL is an alternative name for the Islamic State.
U.S. officials acknowledged for the first time last week that they are investigating “at least a few” claims of civilian casualties as a result of airstrikes on Syria. “This is something we always take seriously,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby. “We are very mindful of trying to mitigate the risk to civilians every time we operate, everywhere we operate.” mcclatchydc.com
Russia’s foreign ministry says the Ukrainian army is responsible for the shelling that killed a man inside Russian territory, warning that the incident could have “irreversible consequences”.
Russian investigators say a man was killed and a woman injured when a shell fired from Ukrainian territory landed in the courtyard of a private house in the village of Donetsk, in Russia’s Rostov region.
“Naturally, this action will not be left without a corresponding reaction,” the deputy foreign minister, Grigory Karasin, said in a radio interview on Sunday. “The talk with the Ukrainian side on this issue is going to be serious and tough.”
Over the weekend there was an escalation of both military action and rhetoric in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as Ukrainian jets carried out air strikes against separatist positions. On Friday, 23 Ukrainian servicemen were killed in an attack using Grad missiles.
“For every soldier’s life, the militants will pay with dozens and hundreds of their own,” said Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, after Friday’s attack.
The Ukrainian army retook a number of towns that had been controlled by separatists in the past fortnight, including the rebel stronghold of Slavyansk, from which hundreds of fighters fled.
The regional centres of Donetsk and Luhansk now contain the main concentration of separatist forces. As these are large conurbations, any attempt to take them back by force is likely to incur major civilian casualties. theguardian.com
Gunmen on Thursday shot dead Col. Ibrahim al-Senussi Akila, a top government intelligence official in Benghazi, a day after a political leader in that eastern city rejected the election of a new prime minister. On Monday, the parliament speaker confirmed the appointment of Ahmed Miitig as Libya’s new premier after a chaotic vote in the General National Congress highlighting tensions between Islamists and liberals. On Wednesday night, Ali al-Hassi, spokesman for a self-proclaimed autonomous government in eastern Libya, rejected Mr. Miitig’s election. nytimes.com
The Royal Marine jailed for executing a wounded Taliban fighter is not a murderer and acted in a moment of madness that he wishes he could undo, his wife has said. In an interview with The Telegraph, Claire Blackman said the life sentence given to her husband, Sgt Alexander Blackman, was too severe and that he could not be compared with a common killer in this country.
Sgt Blackman, who was previously known as Marine A until his anonymity was lifted, was jailed for a minimum of 10 years last week after being found guilty of killing the Afghan insurgent in a battlefield execution. His case provoked an outpouring of public support with many people suggesting he should be shown clemency. Speaking for the first time about her husband’s case, Mrs Blackman admitted that he should not have shot the man and that he was ashamed of having done so.