Monday 14 October 2019

Irish woman in hospital after knifeman 'lunges at shoppers'

Detained: A police officer points a Taser while the other holds a man down outside Arndale shopping centre. Photo: John Greenhalgh/Reuters
Detained: A police officer points a Taser while the other holds a man down outside Arndale shopping centre. Photo: John Greenhalgh/Reuters

Teilo Colley

A 19-year-old Northern Ireland woman was hospitalised after being stabbed in a terrorist attack at Manchester's Arndale Shopping Centre.

Counter-terror police are investigating after a knifeman ran amok in the shopping centre, "lunging at people" at random. Three people were taken to hospital with stab injuries following the attack at around 11am yesterday.

One of them is a young woman who comes from the Glengormley area of Co Antrim, and who was on a shopping trip to the English city.

The woman, who underwent surgery last night, has not yet been named by the Manchester authorities, but her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Witnesses described a scene of terror as shoppers, some with injuries, sought refuge in stores.

An armed officer stands guard. Photo: Peter Powell/Reuters
An armed officer stands guard. Photo: Peter Powell/Reuters

Greater Manchester Police initially stated five people had been injured, but later amended the figure to four.

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. Another woman was taken to hospital with stab injuries and her condition was described as stable.

Britain's North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said one patient had suffered "serious" injuries. One shop worker, who gave his name only as Jordan (23), said: "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."

Jordan said the attack took place on the ground floor.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "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."

Freddie Houlder (22) was in the centre when he heard "a load of screams just outside" the shop he was in. He said a woman 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."

The Arndale Centre is just a few hundred yards from the Manchester Arena and Victoria railway station - both of which have been the scene of recent terror attacks. Twenty-two people were killed in May 2017 when Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb in the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert.

Last New Year's Eve, three people including a police officer were seriously injured after a 25-year-old man launched a knife attack on passers-by.

Irish Independent

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