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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This post was updated on at 12:32 PM.

By Joseph Ax and Mica Rosenberg

ELIZABETH, N.J. (Reuters) – An Afghanistan-born American sought in connection with a series of bombings that wounded 29 people in the New York City area over the weekend was in custody after a gun battle with police on Monday, a New Jersey mayor said.

Ahmad Khan Rahami of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was captured after firing at police officers in Linden, New Jersey, about 20 miles (32 km) outside New York, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said. Two officers were shot, one in the hand and the other in a bullet-proof vest, he said.

“Mr. Rahami also sustained shots and an ambulance has taken him away,” Bollwage said.

Video from WABC television showed a conscious man described as Rahami on a gurney and being loaded into an ambulance.

Investigators believe more people were involved in the New York and New Jersey bombing plots, two U.S. officials told Reuters.

Earlier on Monday, New York Police had released a photo of Rahami, 28, and said they wanted to question him about a Saturday night explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and for a blast earlier that day in Seaside Park, New Jersey, authorities said.

In addition to the two incidents, officials are probing a backpack containing bombs found in a New Jersey train station on Sunday, and an unexploded pressure-cooker bomb located blocks away from the Chelsea blast site.

No one was injured in the other blasts.

As reports of Rahami being taken in custody were being released, U.S. President Barack Obama said he saw no connection between the explosions and a separate weekend incident where a man stabbed nine people at a mall in central Minnesota before being shot dead.

He said authorities are investigating the stabbing as a potential act of terrorism.

The man in the Minnesota incident was described a “soldier of the Islamic State,” the militant group’s news agency said on Sunday.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in Elizabeth, Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Scott Malone and Alan Crosby)

Photo: Police officers walk near the area where an explosive device left at a train station was detonated by the authorities in Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S., September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz