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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  The man authorities believe may have smuggled a bomb onto a Daallo Airlines jet in Somalia last week apparently traded seats with another passenger before the blast, airline CEO Mohammed Ibrahim Yassin told ABC News.

The passenger was originally sitting in a window seat, but agreed to move to the aisle when the suspected bomber, identified by Somalian officials as Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, asked to switch, according to Yassin, who spoke with the passenger.

Just a quarter of an hour later, shortly after takeoff, the bomb -- which authorities believe may have been concealed in a laptop -- exploded, ripping a hole in the fuselage and sucking Borleh’s burned body out of the Airbus 321.

As the cabin lost pressure and flight attendants herded frightened travelers to the back of the plane, the pilot made an emergency landing in Mogadishu.

Two passengers –- including the man who had given up his window seat -– were wounded.

Yassin says he suspects the attack may have been an “inside job” involving airport employees. Surveillance video released by Somali authorities appears to show two men in airport staff uniforms handing the laptop to the suspected bomber.

Both men have since been arrested.

Authorities are looking into whether the attack may have been backed by al-Shabab, an al Qaeda-linked terror group, or even ISIS.

According to Yassin, 70 of the flight’s 74 passengers, including Borleh, were originally booked on a Turkish Airlines flight that was cancelled “last minute.”

A Turkish Airlines spokesperson tells ABC the flight was cancelled “due to operational reasons required in the framework of bad weather conditions.”

But Yassin said he didn't know what was behind the cancellation. The airline refused to comment beyond their initial statement.

Following last week’s incident, there will be “more layers of security” at Mogadishu airport, Yassin said, including more screenings and a greater effort to isolate aircraft.

“Nobody will take anything for granted,” he said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(TEHRAN, Iran) -- New video broadcast on Iranian state TV Wednesday appears to show a U.S. sailor crying while briefly detained by Iran in early January. The sailor was one of 10 U.S. sailors aboard two small Navy vessels that strayed into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf.

A U.S. Department of Defense official said the video released Wednesday by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network appears similar to footage aired at the time the sailors were detained. That original footage showed the moment of their detention at sea with their hands behind their heads, as well as all of the sailors sitting around a large room.

The new footage shows one of the sailors in that room with what appear to be red and moistened eyes. Later in the footage, the same sailor is shown using what appears to be a tissue or handkerchief to wipe his eyes and nose. It is unclear what circumstances may have prompted the sailor's apparent tears.

Commenting on the new video, Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, told ABC News, “As Secretary [of State John] Kerry has said, we are disgusted by the exploitation of our Sailors in Iranian propaganda.”

He called the Jan. 12 detention of U.S. sailors “outrageous and unacceptable.”

“Professional mariners understand that it is a duty and obligation to assist other mariners who suffer mechanical problems or who find themselves off track at sea,” he said in a statement to ABC News. “In fact, our Navy has assisted Iranian mariners in distress in the Gulf region seven times since 2012.”

Five days after the release of the sailors, U.S. Central Command released an initial timeline of events surrounding the detention.

It said the vessels drifted into Iranian territorial waters near Iran’s Farsi Island in the middle of the Persian Gulf while on a journey from Kuwait to Bahrain the afternoon of Jan. 12.

That statement referred to navigational error and said one of the vessels had engine problems. While the vessels stopped to assess the mechanical problem, Iranian boats approached the sailors.

The 10 sailors were kept in an unknown location on Iran’s Farsi Island before being freed the following day.

It is still unclear why the American vessels entered Iranian waters or whether the sailors knew their exact location.

The Navy is conducting an investigation to provide “a more complete accounting of events,” but it has yet to be released.

That report will rely heavily on the testimony of the sailors and their own version of events, which could provide more context to these new images.

Several weeks ago, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter commented on his initial reaction to seeing the videos of the sailors on their knees.

“I was very, very angry at it,” he said. “Remember, as you’re thinking about our guys, that you’re looking through the lens of the Iranians.”

This new video was released the day before the 37th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution when the U.S.-supported government of Mohammad Reza Shah was toppled.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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moodboard/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) -- Dramatic video released by the Turkish Coast Guard Wednesday captured the rescue of a lone Syrian refugee who had been clinging for several hours to a sinking boat in the Aegean Sea near Edremit, a city in eastern Turkey.

The helmet camera footage shows the Monday rescue of Syrian refugee Pelen Hussein from the perspective of Turkish Coast Guard Sgt. Tuncay Ceylan, according to international news agency Agence France-Presse.

The video shows Ceylan lowering himself from a helicopter and then swimming to Hussein, who can be seen desperately holding onto the bow of a vertically sinking boat nearly fully submerged in the water.

Ceylan then tells Hussein, "Jump into the water!" before getting a hold of him and hoisting him up back to the helicopter. Hussein was then flown back to land and immediately taken to a hospital, AFP reported.

Hussein "was on the verge of hypothermia, and in a state of shock," Ceylan told Turkish media, according to AFP. "I tried to calm him down."

Ceylan added, "When he came to himself a bit he started to cry. Probably his relatives came to his mind as there were a lot of corpses in the water."

Hussein was one of several dozen Syrian refugees who had set off by boat in the hopes of reaching the Greek island of Lesbos, which is near the Turkish eastern coast, AFP reported.

Twenty-seven migrants, 11 of them children, drowned, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.

Over 900,000 migrants and refugees entered Europe last year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Many of the migrants and refugees risk their lives trying to flee dangerous conditions in war-torn countries by crossing perilous seas in overcrowded boats.

From the beginning of 2015 through this past Monday, IOM recorded 409 fatalities on Mediterranean routes, the organization said in a news release Tuesday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- China has confirmed its first case of the Zika virus, state news agency Xinhua reports.

The state news agency says the National Health and Family Planning Commission announced on Tuesday that a 34-year-old man from Jiangxi province traveled to Venezuela last month, where he experienced symptoms of the virus. Upon returning home last week, he was placed under quarantine.

The NHFPC says the risk of the virus spreading from this imported case is low given the low temperatures in the region.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Historic Royal Palaces(LONDON) — Kensington Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, will be opening its palatial doors to a new dazzling exhibition called "Fashion Rules: Restyled." The exhibit is organized by the charity Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) and takes visitors into the wardrobes of three famous royal women: Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Diana Princess of Wales.

"The exhibition looks at the unofficial rules of royal dressing in a way many of the considerations that a designer or a royal individual will take into consideration when getting dressed in the morning," senior curator Deirdre Murphy told ABC News.

Mounted on the walls of the exhibition rooms are sketches with fabric samples pinned to each sketch alongside notes recording conversations between the designer and the women.

There are eighteen couture gowns on display in five rooms including some of Diana's most iconic dresses. One of them is a bottle green double-breasted velvet dress with beautifully detailed diamante buttons created by British designer Catherine Walker. In 1997 Diana was photographed wearing it for the famous Vanity Fair photo shoot by Mario Testino.

"Catherine Walker was one of Diana Princess of Wales’ favorite designers and she really helped to develop that very sleek elegant streamlined sophisticated look for the Princess of Wales for the 1990s and late 1980s," Murphy told ABC News.

A sophisticated, one-shouldered navy blue dress with gold rope detailing that Diana wore to a private occasion is also on display. The dress style became her signature look and shows off Diana’s more sleek style.

Historic Royal Palaces"She did have a daring side the way she dressed but she also dressed within a long standing royal tradition," Murphy said.

A memorable dress worn by the princess is another Catherine Walker creation: a black velvet bodice and voluminous tartan ball gown skirt.

And there is the off-the-shoulder salmon pink evening frock with a long tunic style bodice the princess wore to the reopening of the Savoy theater in 1993.

Diana's rules for dressing throughout the 1980s and 90s included wide shoulders and shoulder pads, dresses with dropped waists and bold trimmings to a more streamlined, elegant look. Perhaps the best description of her style comes from Catherine Walker.

"[Walker} felt for the princess that she needed to design a dignified show stopper. I think that's a very nice way of putting that sort of tension between something that is really really glitzy and red carpet magnificent dress and on the other hand dignified adhering royal tradition," Murphy told ABC News.

The exhibition also features film and photographs capturing the women wearing the dresses at various famous occasions. One of them is the dress the queen wore to a state visit to France in 1972 and in her 1977 Silver Jubilee portrait. It is a heavily beaded bodice covered with two layers of chiffon embroidered with small pearl beads and diamante detailing. The evening gown is also iconic because it was famously used by the sex pistols for their "God Save the Queen" single and later on immortalized by Andy Warhol in his screen prints of reigning Queen Series.

The exhibition continues until January 2017.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(SYDNEY) -- After a 10,000-mile long flight from Virginia to Australia, a World War II U.S. army veteran finally reunited with his wartime girlfriend Wednesday after recently reconnecting online.

For the first time in over 70 years, Norwood Thomas, 93, came face-to-face with Joyce Durrant Morris, 88, his long-lost first love.

The two were speechless at first and shared a warm embrace and kiss on the cheek.

"This is about the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me," Thomas said in a reunion broadcast on Australia's Channel TEN TV show The Project.

"Good," Morris replied with a laugh. "We're going to have a wonderful fortnight."

The two said they planned to spend Valentine's Day together.

Thomas and Morris' story began in the spring of 1944 in London. The two had dated for a few months but were separated when Thomas was forced to leave for the Battle of Normandy in France, he told ABC News in November.

For over seven decades, the two lived separate lives. Both married other people, though Morris is now divorced and Thomas' wife passed away a few years ago. Morris also lives in Australia.

The two were brought together again last November, when Morris' son found contact information for Thomas' son online. The men reconnected their parents through Skype and phone calls, the first of which brought the wartime lovers to tears.

"When she called me 'Tommy,' her nickname for me, oh my God, it stirred emotions that had been dormant for a long, long time," Thomas told ABC News. "She had always been on the fringes of my thoughts this whole time. She'd always pop up as a pleasant memory, and it turns out that she'd been thinking of me this whole time too."

Though Thomas wasn't sure if he'd call his "strong feelings" for Morris "love" quite yet, he said he was excited to see Morris again in Australia and to "reminisce about their old days together," his son Steven Thomas told ABC News last month.

Thomas' trip was made possible by hundreds of people who made donations online after reading his story and by Air New Zealand, which made arrangements to fly Thomas and his son first class, free of charge.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- An official from the U.S. Department of Defense told ABC News Tuesday that the North Korean satellite that had been tumbling in orbit “appears to have been stabilized.”

The satellite is believed to be equipped with small rockets that seem to have corrected the satellite’s position in orbit.

The North Koreans have described the satellite as an earth observation satellite which would mean it would have some imagery capability.

If that’s the case, then it is likely of rudimentary low resolution.  It’s unclear if the satellite is transmitting signals yet.

The satellite is in a polar orbit, so it can cover most of the earth in a day.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Moscow residents woke up Tuesday morning to scenes of startling destruction here, after the city's government unleashed 700 bulldozers overnight to destroy 100 makeshift shops across the city center, according to officials.

The shops, a mixture of outdoor kiosks and more permanent structures, were flattened, some still with furniture inside and the lights still on. Piles of twisted metal and wreckage were left behind.

A feature of Moscow's urban landscape since Communism fell, the shops sold everything from eyeglasses and underwear to Kalashnikov-shaped vodka decanters. In recent years, many had evolved into larger structures, housing kebab shops, cafes and cellphone dealers.

The mayor's office believes the stalls are a throwback to a more anarchic time and wanted to raze them as part of an effort to bolster the Russian capital's image as a modern and sophisticated city.

Authorities had said the kiosks were built illegally, without planning permission. But the official reason for the clearing was that the structures — built mostly around subway stations — posed a safety threat to the system's communications.

"It's barbarism," said Irina Karaseva, 54, a radio editor standing next to a seven-foot pile of rubble. "They should not have done it this way."

Alina Bibisheva, an urban design specialist who studied the kiosks in a research paper for Moscow's Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, said "Normally you don't do it in the night, with the lights on and people inside."

The kiosks' owners had been ordered to dismantle the structures themselves after a ruling by the government a year ago, but most ignored the order. At the Chistiye Prudi subway station in central Moscow, some of the shops were still serving food when the bulldozers arrived.

Those working there have now lost their livelihoods and many will appeal for compensation, claiming they had the appropriate permission from the city. But officials have said no compensation will be offered.

"We've been here 25 years," said Larisa, who declined to provide her last name, sitting in her newspaper stand, which had been spared the night's leveling. "We're also illegal. They'll pull us down too."

Moscow has changed rapidly in the past five years, with huge areas undergoing restoration — stylish new parks and pedestrian zones have appeared, as well as vast new shopping malls. Some saw the removal of the kiosks as a positive continuation of this trend.

"There wasn't any need for them — they blocked up the entrance to the subway," said Olga Kosyanchuk, a 25-year-old painter. "We need to pull them down as quickly as possible."

But Zoya Baranova, 77, a local pensioner who walked by a row of demolished kiosks, was more sympathetic. "I feel sorry for the people who worked here. [But] it'll be clean and beautiful."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Top U.S. leaders laid out the major worldwide threats facing the United States at Tuesday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing -- including homegrown terrorism and North Korea's nuclear program.

"It's a very accurate litany of doom," said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) during the testimony by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, and Marine Corps Lt. General Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Here are some of the highlights:

Terrorism in the US: Stewart cautioned against homegrown threats, saying, "ISIL will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016." In his written statement, Clapper similarly warned that “the perceived success of attacks by homegrown violent extremists in Europe and North America, such as those in Chattanooga and San Bernardino, might motivate others to replicate opportunistic attacks with little or no warning, diminishing our ability to detect terrorist operational planning and readiness.” He said that U.S.-based homegrown violent extremists pose "the most significant Sunni terrorist threat to the US homeland in 2016."

Taking Back Mosul: Stewart said he was not optimistic about taking Mosul from ISIS in the near term, saying it's unlike to happen in the next year. "We may be able to begin the campaign, do some isolation operations around Mosul," he said. "But securing or taking Mosul is an extensive operation and not something I see in the next year or so." Stewart also mentioned there is still work to be done to secure Ramadi.

North Korean Nuclear Power: Clapper said North Korea has expanded their Yongbyon nuclear facility not far from the capital of Pyongyang. “We assess that North Korea has followed through on its announcement by expanding its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restarting the plutonium production reactor," he said. "We further assess that North Korea has been operating the reactor long enough so that it could begin to recover plutonium from the reactor's spent fuel within a matter of weeks to months." On Saturday, North Korea successfully launched a long-range missile, apparently into space.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(BAD AIBLING, Germany) —Two morning commuter trains have collided in Bad Aibling in southern Germany, killing ten people and injuring more than 100 others, police said.

The train manufacturer, Meridian, released a statement in German, saying two trains collided just after 7 a.m. Tuesday local time.

In a news conference, German Transport minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters, "it's a shocking sight how the two trains collided and the one has smashed into the other."

There is no detail on the condition of the two train operators.

"They must have hit each other at a high speed. On that line 120 kilometers per hour is allowed," Dobrindt said of a speed equal to about 74 mph.

"The crash happened on a curve so we have to assume the drivers didn't see each other and didn't brake."

He added, "It's a heavy point in the history of German train travel, one of the worst accidents of the past years."

"We have an automatic security system that should prevent trains colliding with a forced brake if two trains are on the same rails."

Bernd Rosenbusch, managing director of the Bavarian Oberland Bahn GmbH, which operates the trains, said "the accident was a huge shock to us. We do everything to help travelers, families and employees,"

Technical director Fabian Amini said, "We were quickly on the scene and were able to get an idea of the serious collision. We thank the emergency services and employees who have provided assistance as quickly.”

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas tweeted, "Quite bad news from #Bad Aibling. Our thoughts are with the victims injured. Thanks to rescuers."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- Scientists are investigating a man's death after government officials initially said that he was killed by an explosion caused by a meteorite.

The incident happened in the Indian district of Vellore on Saturday. One man was killed and three others were injured, according to The Times of India.

According to the paper, chief minister J Jayalalithaa said that the government would compensate the victim's family as well as those who were injured.

"A mishap occurred yesterday when a meteorite fell in the campus of a private engineering college in Vellore district’s K Pantharappalli village," Jayalalithaa said in a statement, according to The Indian Express.

Local police told The Times of India that officers have investigated the site of the explosion and have not found any traces of explosives.

Photos from the scene reportedly show the site of the explosion, which the paper said measures 5 feet wide and 2 feet deep.

Eyewitnesses claim the crater was caused by a mysterious explosion. Classroom windows and windshields of parked cars and buses shattered from the powerful explosion.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images(HOMS, Syria) -- A Syrian couple recently held their wedding photo shoot amid the ruins of war-ravaged Homs, Syria, to prove that love is greater than war.

Photos of the 18-year-old bride, Nada Mehri, and the 27-year-old Syrian army soldier groom, Hassan Youssef, were taken by professional photographer Jafar Meray Friday, according to international news agency Agence France-Presse.

Meray and the newlyweds wanted "to show that life is stronger than death," he told AFP photographer Joseph Eid.

Images of the couple's loving embraces and the bride's white dress made powerful visual statements against the city's abandoned buildings, bullet-ridden walls and gray rubble.

A large portion of Homs, Syria's third largest city, was destroyed over the course of nearly six years, during the civil war between Syrian rebels and government forces.

For many, it is difficult to imagine the fallen city was once dubbed the "capital" of the revolution.
The old part of the city was under siege until last month, when the last of the opposition forces withdrew under the terms of a United Nations cease-fire.

Despite the destruction, several couples from Homs, including a couple who met while working for the U.N. Refugee Agency, have chosen to come back to the ruins for their weddings because the "Old City" is their birthplace and home.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Syrian government has beaten or tortured to death thousands of detainees since the beginning of the civil war there, “horrors” only rivaled by the war crimes of some rebel Islamist groups like ISIS on the other side of the fight, a new United Nations report says.

“In the Syrian Arab Republic, massive and systemized violence – including the killing of detainees in official and makeshift detention centres – has taken place out of sight, far from the battlefield,” says a report from the U.N.’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, published Monday. “The government has committed crimes against humanity of extermination, murder, rape or other forms of sexual violence, torture, imprisonment, enforced disappearance and other inhuman acts. Based on the same conduct, war crimes have also been committed.”

The report, which the commission says is based on more than 600 interviews as well as “considerable documentary material,” contains some gruesome details of individual cases.

“In early 2014, a detainee at Sednaya prison (Damascus) was killed after guards entered the cell and subjected him to severe beating, including kicking to the head and vital organs. Other prisoners present were ordered to face the wall while the man was heard screaming,” the report says. “The victim was left vomiting blood. A former cellmate explained how the man asked him to tell his wife and family what happened to him.”

The cellmate reportedly said, “He died. We closed his eyes, wrapped him in a military blanket and read the Quran in our hearts.”

Paulo Pinheiro, the commission’s chair, said stories like the cellmate’s were hardly unique.

“Nearly every surviving detainee has emerged from custody having suffered unimaginable abuses,” he said.

The report also named rebel groups, including terrorist designated organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra, as committing similar atrocities in their own “prisons.”

“Jabhat al-Nusra has set up detention facilities in Idlib [in western Syria] where deaths in detention were documented,” the report says. “The terrorist group also conducted mass executions of captured Government soldiers. Both Jabhat Al-Nusra and some anti-Government armed groups have committed the war crimes of murder, cruel treatment, and torture.”

Likewise, ISIS’ crimes in Iraq and Syria have been well-documented.

Last year, ABC News documented alleged abuses perpetrated by Iraqi government forces and pro-Iraqi government militias in Iraq, the evidence of which was available on social media from fighters boasting about the apparent war crimes.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- Violent clashes erupted overnight in Hong Kong after protesters defended unlicensed food vendors, set up for Chinese New Year celebrations, from being shut down by police.

The night market has become popular over the years, with officials usually turning a blind eye. But police decided to issue tickets this year.

Reports of a crackdown against the hawkers who sell fish balls and other local food delicacies quickly spread on social media along with the hashtag #fishballrevolution.

More than 100 individuals are believed to have taken part and police told reporters Tuesday that 54 were arrested “on suspicion of assaulting and obstructing officers, resisting arrest and public disorder,” despite instructions to disperse.

"The government strongly condemns such violent acts," Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told reporters, adding: "The police will apprehend the mobs and bring them to justice."

The violence, which took place in a working-class neighborhood called Mong Kong, was the worst that the city had experienced since the wave of pro-democracy protests in 2014 known as the #umbrellarevolution.

The vendors' cause resonated with pro-democracy activists because of their concerns that local culture is disappearing as China tightens its hold on the semi-autonomous city.

Hong Kong’s “Localist” movement activists, who are calling for more autonomy from Beijing, were among those taking part in the protest. The group said on its official Facebook page that its candidate for local council, Edward Leung Tin-kei, had been arrested.

Police later said they did not expect another riot Tuesday when fireworks have been planned, but they will increase the numbers of officers on patrol as a precautionary measure.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(KINGSTON, England) -- British police have expressed their gratitude to a stranger who helped them arrest a suspect.

Officers were on patrol in Kingston, United Kingdom, on Saturday when they were made aware of a report of two males dealing drugs, police said in a statement.

The officers chased one of the suspects through the town center "when they received some unexpected assistance from a member of the public," a police spokesperson wrote on the force's Facebook page.

In a video posted online, a young man is seen running away from police officers when a passerby suddenly trips him. The passerby then walks away with a woman by his side while officers arrest the suspect who fell to the ground. The suspect was not injured, police said.

"The Borough Commander was extremely impressed when he saw the footage and would like to meet the passerby personally to say thanks!" police said.

The video prompted many reactions on social media. One Facebook user, Adam Faust, criticized the man's action, writing: "If you count the speed he's going at and tripping someone with your foot to lose balance he 'could' of smashed his head and been killed."

Another Facebook user, Robert Craig, applauded the man's decision, writing: "It is the right thing for decent people to do." Kingston Police also commented on the thread, saying the individual had applied "reasonable force to assist in the lawful arrest of an offender."

The 17-year-old suspect was arrested "on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs" and is free on bail. He is scheduled to appear in court in April. The other suspect in the case managed to get away.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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