Anti-terror police investigating as at least four injured in multiple stabbings at Manchester's Arndale Centre
AT LEAST five people are injured after a stabbing incident at Manchester's Arndale Shopping Centre with the UK's Counter Terrorism Police North West leading the investigation.
Greater Manchester Police said they are "keeping an open mind" about the motive of the attack.
However, counter-terror police are investigating after the knifeman ran amok in the shopping centre "lunging at people" at random.
Greater Manchester Police initially stated five people had been injured, but later amended the figure to four.
A 19-year-old woman and another woman for whom no age was given were both taken to hospital with stab injuries and their condition was described as stable by the force.
A man in his 50s was also hospitalised with stab wounds while a woman in her 40s was treated by paramedics at the scene but was not stabbed.
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said one patient had suffered "serious" injuries.
NWAS tweeted: "We have treated four patients, including one patient with serious injuries, and all have been taken to hospital."
A shop worker, who gave his name only as Jordan, 23, told the PA news agency: "A man was running around with a knife lunging at multiple people, one of which came into my store visibly shaken with a small graze.
"Soon after, security staff told all retail staff to close their doors and move the public to the back of the stores."
Jordan, who has only been working at the centre for a few months, said the attack took place on the ground floor.
A Greater Manchester Police statement Greater Manchester Police statement said: "Specialist officers are continuing to respond to an incident at the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester city centre.
"We can confirm that five people have been stabbed and taken to hospital.
"In these early stages we are keeping an open mind about the motivation of this terrible incident and the circumstances as we know them.
"Given the location of the incident and its nature officers from Counter Terrorism Police North West are leading the investigation as we determine the circumstances.
"A man in his 40s - who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of serious assault - remains in custody for questioning."
Some witnesses have described the scenes in the large shopping centre this morning.
Freddie Houlder, 22, from Market Drayton, was in the Arndale Centre when he heard "a load of screams just outside" the shop he was in.
He said a woman then came into the shop and told others "a guy just ran past the shop and tried to stab me".
Mr Houlder added: "Luckily she had quite a thick jacket - she thought originally it was a fake knife because of how easily it grazed off but police came in and said it was a real knife and she burst into tears."
He said he was evacuated several minutes later at which point he saw "a bunch of curtains covering someone seriously injured or dead, I don't know".
"I definitely don't think it was gang violence because this guy was going around trying to stab random people, I believe."