Flemish woman killed in New York terrorist attack


A 31-year-old woman from Staden, West Flanders, was killed while cycling in New York when a man drove over cyclists and pedestrians in Manhattan

Three more Belgians injured

A woman from Staden in West Flanders was killed in a terrorist attack in New York City on Tuesday. A man driving a rented vehicle ran down pedestrians and cyclists on a street in Manhattan. Three other Belgians were injured in the attack, which killed eight people in total.

Ann-Laure Decadt, 31, was cycling along the Hudson River when the driver of the vehicle, Sayfullo Saipov, veered into the cycle lane and pavement Tuesday afternoon. Decadt was on holiday in the city with her mother and two sisters. Although the rest of the family were present during the attack, they were not wounded.

Three Belgians were also among the 12 wounded. Although their identities have not yet been revealed, it involves a couple and their son, according to VRT’s correspondent in the US, Björn Soenens. “The son is was not seriously injured,” Soenens confirmed. “But the mother and father are in critical condition. Some reports are even speaking of amputations. These people have been very seriously injured.”

Saipov, 29, a Uzbekistan national who immigrated to the US seven years ago, then drove away from the scene at high speed, eventually crashing into a school bus. He emerged from the vehicle and was shot in the stomach by police. He is currently in hospital.

Reynders in New York

Saipov has told police that he carried out the act in the name of IS. A truck driver who lived in New Jersey, Saipov was only known to police for minor traffic violations, mostly having to do with his job. He was never linked to any terrorist sympathies or activities.

Federal external affairs minister Didier Reynders happened to be on his way from New York to Washington, DC, when the attack took place. He turned around and went back to New York to be briefed on the situation and the condition of the Belgian citizens.

Ironically, Reynders was on his way to DC to meet with US state secretary Rex Tillerson about international efforts to combat terrorism. That meeting took place yesterday. “We stand in solidarity with Belgium and all other countries in the fight against terror,” said Tillerson. “Terrorism knows no borders. Belgium, and Europe in general, as well as other countries have suffered from it.”

Photo: Sayfullo Saipov rented a truck from DIY chain Home Depot to carry out the attack
©Wang Ying/ XinHua/BELGA