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Bombings spark security concerns in US as world leaders gather for UN meetings

Updated: 2016-09-20 09:05

Bombings spark security concerns in US as world leaders gather for UN meetings

Law enforcement officers mark evidence near the site where Ahmad Khan Rahami, sought in connection with a bombing in New York, was taken into custody in Linden, New Jersey, US, September 19, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - Security concerns are plaguing the United States on Monday after bombings rocked New York and New Jersey over the weekend in what officials linked to act of terrorism.

The New York City Police Department released a photograph of a 28-year-old Afghanistan-born American wanted for questioning in connection with both the blast that injured 29 people in the bustling Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea Saturday night and the pipe bombing earlier that day in Seaside Park, New Jersey.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized US citizen from Afghanistan with an address in Elizabeth, New Jersey, was taken into custody after a shoot-out with police, local police said, more than two hours after the release of his photo.

The attacks, occurred just days after the 15th anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks on the United States, sparked fears among the population of more than 8 million in New York City.

At 7:55 am on Monday, residents in the US financial capital were alarmed with an emergency alert urging them to contact authorities if they see Rahami or have any information about him.

The klaxon-like alarm that usually sounded for flash flood warnings was sent to New Yorkers' cell phones, in a sign of the urgency authorities felt in chasing down the suspect and preventing additional bombings.

The bombings put enormous pressure on the city's law enforcement as world leaders are gathering this week at the United Nations headquarters for the annual General Assembly meeting and a UN high-level meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants.

About 135 heads of state or government are expected to attend this week's event at the United Nations.

"We're going to have more security personnel than ever assembled over this next week during the UN General Assembly," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in interviews with CNN on Monday morning.

City authorities said they had bolstered an already heavy security force with 1,000 more uniformed police officers and National Guard members.

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