22 dead in terror attack on Manchester concert

British prime minister Theresa May vowed Tuesday ‘terrorists will not prevail’ after an eight-year-old girl was among 22 people killed at a packed pop concert in a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group.
Britain’s worst terror bloodshed for more than a decade came just over two weeks before the country votes in a general election, and after a series of deadly jihadist attacks across Europe.
Witnesses described the horror when the suicide bomber blew himself up as youngsters streamed out of the concert by US star Ariana Grande at one of Europe’s largest indoor venues in Manchester, northern England.
‘There were fathers carrying their little girls in tears. People were pushing down the stairs. It was just… chaos,’ Sebastian Diaz, a 19-year-old from Newcastle, said.
May said the bomber’s identity was known to police and that he was believed to have acted alone, but Manchester police arrested a 23-year-old man on Tuesday morning in connection with the attack.
‘A single terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately,’ May said after an emergency ministerial meeting.
Threatening more attacks, the IS group said in a statement published on its social media channels: ‘One of the caliphate’s soldiers placed bombs among the crowds.’
May said during a visit to Manchester that police would look at the security of such venues, while the government would also review police resources.
But while campaigning for the June 8 election was suspended by the main parties after the attack, she insisted: ‘The terrorists will not prevail.’
‘We will not let the terrorists win, our values will prevail.’
Screaming fans, many of them teenagers, fled the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena in panic after the explosion at the end of the concert by the 23-year-old Grande, a former child TV
star who described herself as ‘broken’ by the attack.
US president Donald Trump and European leaders issued vows of defiance and stars from the worlds of music and football such as former Manchester United player David Beckham expressed their condolences.
Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and a teenager, Georgina Callander, were among the first of the 22 victims to be confirmed.
Another 59 people were wounded, many with life-threatening conditions.
Police said the blast occurred in the foyer of the arena, a covered area which links the auditorium to Victoria Station, a train and tram hub.
Witnesses reported seeing bodies on the floor after the blast around 10:30pm on Monday, and some fans were trampled as panicked crowds tried to flee the venue.
Families were separated, with dozens of young people taken to nearby hotels overnight, and some parents were still desperately searching for their children on Tuesday.
‘I’m just hearing nothing—her phone’s dead,’ Charlotte Campbell, whose 15-year-old daughter Olivia was at the concert, told BBC radio.
The attack was the deadliest in Britain since July 7, 2005 when four suicide bombers inspired by al-Qaeda attacked London’s transport system during rush hour, killing 52 people and wounding 700 more.
It revived memories of the November 2015 attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in which armed men wearing explosive belts stormed in and killed 90 people.
That attack was also claimed by IS, as was one in March at London’s Westminster Bridge—although police downplayed that claim.
Other recent attacks in Europe have included vehicles driven into crowds in Berlin and Stockholm, coinciding with an offensive on IS redoubts in Syria and Iraq by US, British and other Western forces.
Queen Elizabeth condemned the Manchester attack as an ‘act of barbarity’ and Trump said during a visit to Bethlehem: ‘So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers.’
The Eiffel Tower’s lights were to be turned off at midnight Tuesday in homage to the victims in Manchester, while the Cannes film festival observed a minute’s silence.
Britain’s national terror threat level has been ‘severe’, meaning an attack is highly likely, since August 2014, and May said this would remain unchanged, but under review.
In a city famed globally for its musical traditions and football teams, showbusiness stars and teams joined in to express their shock at the carnage.
‘We are deeply shocked by last night’s terrible events at the Manchester Arena,’ said Manchester United, whose manager Jose Mourinho said the victims were in the club’s ‘minds and hearts.’
A support centre for people caught up in the attack was set up at Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City, which is next door to the venue.
City captain Vincent Kompany offered his condolences on Twitter, saying: ‘It’s a sad day for the great city of Manchester. #Unity’.
Britain’s third biggest city was hit in 1996 by a massive car bomb planted at a shopping centre by the Irish Republican Army which wounded more than 200 people.
Source: new age

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