Foiled terror attack in New York as bomb explodes without serious harm

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Injured suspect in police custody after explosive device went off prematurely

NEW YORK: An explosion rocked the area near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan early yesterday morning (yesterday evening, Singapore time), police said.

The city's mayor later called it a "terrorist attack" although at press time, police had yet to confirm this.

The only person injured is a man detained in connection with the blast, the New York Police Department said on Twitter.

But local media reported the city's fire department as saying that four people were injured, although all had "non-life threatening injuries".

New York police commissioner James O'Neill said the 27-year-old suspect, named in some media reports as Akayed Ullah, had strapped the explosive device to his body.

He suffered burns to the hands and abdomen, and had other injuries.

Photos were circulating on social media of the man on the ground with his hands cuffed and injuries to his torso.

The New York Post reported that the suspect told police he made the bomb at the electrical company where he works and that it had exploded earlier than he had planned it to.

Police said subway trains were ordered to bypass that bustling part of New York, which is near Times Square.

Reuters reported that local news channel WABC had cited police sources as saying a possible pipe bomb detonated in a passageway below ground at Port Authority, the country's largest bus terminal and one of the busiest .

Another station WPIX cited sources as saying a man with a "possible second device" has been detained in the subway tunnel, although there was no police confirmation of this.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a news conference near the site of the blast that the bomb was a "low-tech device".

Mr Cuomo called a bomb going off in a crowded subway "one of our worst nightmares".

He added: "This is New York. The reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom.

"Let's go back to work. We're not going to allow them to disrupt us, that's exactly what they want. And that is exactly what they're not going to get."

The city's mayor, Mr Bill de Blasio said: "This was an attempted terrorist attack... Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals ."

US President Donald Trump has been briefed on the explosion, White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote on Twitter.

A truck attack in lower Manhattan on Halloween killed eight people. That was the first deadly terror attack in New York since the Sept 11 suicide airliner attacks in 2001. - AFP, REUTERS