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    Four ‘homeless’ men battered to death in New York

    Four men thought to be homeless have been battered to death in New York in the space of a single night, with a fifth critically injured, police say.

    Their suspected killer was detained by police as an attack was in progress in Chinatown and the suspected weapon, a long metal object, was recovered.

    All of the victims died of blunt trauma to the head and appear to have been asleep when they were attacked.

    They were assaulted at three different locations in Manhattan.

    The suspect, 24, is in custody but has not yet been charged, the Associated Press news agency reports.

    Police are still investigating possible motives for the attacks and have not yet named the victims.

    Police was alerted by an emergency call just before 02:00 (06:00 GMT).

    The man who survived was the second to be attacked and was found a short distance away from the first. He was taken to New York’s Downtown Hospital in critical condition. The other three men have killed a street away.

    The attacks took place in both Chinatown and the Lower East Side, the New York Times reports.

    Michael Baldassano, chief of Manhattan South detectives, described the weapon as a “pipe”, said to be about 3ft (90cm) long.

    The suspect himself was homeless, he added, and appeared to have carried out “random attacks”, with nobody “targeted by race, age, anything by that nature”.

    Two victims were reportedly found in front of a shop and a third across the street.

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