Monday 24 July 2017

Everything we know so far about the Manchester Arena terror attack

The attacker detonated a bomb outside the arena around 10:30pm on Monday evening.

By Zaina Alibhai

A terror attack that struck Manchester Arena after a concert on Monday night has left 22 dead, including many children, and 59 injured.

Here’s what we know on Tuesday evening about the bombing incident.

What happened?

A lone suicide bomber detonated a homemade device packed with nuts and bolts in the foyer of the Manchester Arena as thousands of young people were leaving a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande.

He has been identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.

Who was the attacker?

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No name has been revealed as yet, however police confirmed the lone suicide bomber died on the scene at the arena.

Security services believe they know his identity and are investigating whether he acted alone or was part of a network.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Have any arrests been made?

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A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the attack in south Manchester.

Witnesses spoke of the moment half a dozen plain-clothed officers pulled up in Chorlton to make the arrest.

Nick Yates, 27, a graphic designer from Manchester, said: “There was a black Mercedes van pulled up on the side of the road with six to eight police officers, all in plain clothes but wearing black caps with checkerboard marking.

“Then as I crossed the road I saw a guy in handcuffs, sat on the floor against the wall.”

A controlled explosion was carried out on Tuesday afternoon, as part of the investigation, at an address in Fallowfield.

Have any of the victims been named?

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The first victim to be named was Georgina Callander, a teenager who was on the second year of a health and social care course.

Runshaw College in Leyland, Lancashire, released a statement which read: “Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s family, friends, and all of those affected by this loss”.

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A second victim was also identified by Lancashire County Council as eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland.

Tarleton Community Primary School headteacher Chris Upton said: “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends.

“The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.”

Twelve children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital, the North West Ambulance Service has said.

What about the other victims?

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Parents, relatives and friends of those at the concert are still frantically trying to trace their loved ones, turning their attention to social media to shares photos and descriptions of those missing.

Facebook has activated its safety check feature so people can others know they are safe, and an emergency helpline has been set up for those searching.

However, there has been some spread of fake news and misinformation after a 12-year-old girl was wrongly-linked to the attack, with her photograph being shared all over the internet.

How has the world reacted?

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Speaking after chairing a Cobra meeting on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Theresa May said the "callous" attack was "among the worst terrorism we have experienced in the United Kingdom".

May said: ”It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack, an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation.

“This was among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the United Kingdom.”

All national General Election campaigning was suspended after the explosion.

US president Donald Trump branded the attacker an “evil loser” and said: “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom.”

How are the victims being remembered?

Sam Fairbrother

Calling all my music friends !!!! SINGER MUSICANS AND LOVERS A LIKE GATHER WITH ME AT 12am at PICCADILLY GARDENS for a rendition of “all we need is love” LETS GATHER IN MUSIC AND STRENGTH TO AGAIN…

Vigils are being held in cities across the country – including Liverpool and Birmingham – in the aftermath of the bombing.

People are gathering at Manchester’s Albert Square at 6pm this evening to pay tribute to the victims.

Earlier in the day a busker – 30-year-old Sam Fairbrother – set up in Piccadilly Gardens singing songs in defiance of that attacks.

Hundreds of Mancunians gathered in the central square and listened to the musician who sang songs such as All You Need Is Love by the Beatles and Bob Marley’s Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.

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