Toronto terror attack kills 9

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A white van killed nine people when its driver ploughed through a pavement in Toronto on a sunny Monday afternoon, according to police.

The incident occurred just before 1:30pm (1730 GMT) as large crowds of office workers were on lunch breaks. At least one witness described the driver as appearing to deliberately target victims on his roughly mile-long rampage. The driver was in custody, police said.

Police in Canada’s largest city initially said eight to 10 people had been injured, but later said it was unclear exactly how many had been hurt or the extent of their injuries.

A witness said he had seen five bodies at the site of the incident. Seven people were brought to a nearby trauma centre, the hospital said on Twitter.

The crash occurred in the north end of the city, where a van drove onto the pavement and hit several people, said Toronto police.

A man who gave his name as Ali said he saw the van and that the driver appeared to have been targeting people.

“This person was intentionally doing this, he was killing everybody,” the man said. “He kept going, he kept going. People were getting hit, one after another.”

He said a number of the victims were older people and at one point he saw a stroller fly into the air.

The United States and Europe have seen a string of deadly attacks in which vehicles were used to mow down pedestrians, including an Oct 31 attack in New York that killed eight.

At least one person was struck outside on the pavement outside an Anglican church, about 1.5 kilometres north of where the van came to rest in front of a currency exchange in a condominium tower.

Buildings and workplaces in the area where the van struck pedestrians in Toronto were locked down, and a nearby subway station was closed and service suspended.

Some of the victims were struck in a public square popular with office workers on lunch breaks. Aerial photos of the scene posted on social media showed a food truck parked just a few feet away from where emergency workers busily transferred people onto stretchers.

Dawn

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