22 dead, 59 injured in Manchester Arena attack

22 dead, 59 injured in Manchester Arena attack

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 8:27 am


Armed police stand guard at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Police says there are “a number of fatalities” after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

British police said the death toll from an explosion which ripped through a crowd of teenagers and other concert­goers late Monday after a performance by an American pop singer in Manchester, United Kingdom had risen to 22 and included children.

At least 59 others were injured in the incident. The Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said at a televised press conference that the police believe the blast was the work of a lone attacker, who died at the venue.

The Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said at a televised press conference that the police believe the blast was the work of a lone attacker, who died at the venue.

“We have been treating this as a terrorist incident,” he said. “We believe at this stage the attack last night was conducted by one man.”

According to him, the Police is still trying to determine whether the attacker was working alone or as part of a network.

“The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena,” he said. “We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity.”

Media reports indicated that the bombing appeared intended to inflict the maximum possible damage on the mostly teenage concert­goers  who were exiting the Manchester Arena when the blast occurred about 10:30 p.m., shortly after pop star Ariana Grande had finished her set.

Washington Post reports that the explosion set off a panicked reaction as fans struggled to flee and parents and teens searched for one another amid the carnage. Fathers and mothers who had lost contact with their children are still posting desperate pleas for information on social media till Tuesday morning.

Theresa May, British Prime Minister in  a statement in the early hours of Tuesday said authorities were “working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, and police did not speculate about possible motives.

But if confirmed as a terrorist attack, it would be the worst strike on British soil since 2005, when Islamist extremists bombed the London subway and a bus, killing 54 people, Washington Post noted.

 

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