At least 19 people have been confirmed dead and 50 more injured following a bomb attack during a music concert in Manchester.
The incident occurred on the Monday night towards the end of singer Ariana Grande’s concert.
Per The Guardian,
The attack, which took place in the foyer area of the arena, left hundreds of people fleeing in terror, with young people at the concert separated from their parents in the chaos. It left carnage inside the concert venue, with medics describing treating wounds consistent with shrapnel injury.
One witness said he could see nuts and bolts strewn on the floor of the foyer after the attack, which could suggest a nail bomb was involved.
Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, said: “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.
“All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.”
With Britain’s general elections in just 3 weeks, May and other political parties have suspended their campaigns in the wake of the incident.
if confirmed as a terrorist attack, the death toll would make it the worst event of its kind in Britain since the 7/7 bombing in 2005, which hit London’s transport network, killing 52 people.
In a statement just before 3am, Ian Hopkins, the chief constable of Greater Manchester police, said the police had received reports of an explosion at 10.33pm at the conclusion of the Ariana Grande concert.
“We are currently treating this as a terrorist incident until we have further information, we are working closely with national counter-terrorism policing network and UK intelligence partners.
“This is clearly a very concerning time for everyone. We are doing all that we can, working with local and national agencies to support those affected as we gather information about what happened last night.”
The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted his sympathy for the victims: “Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services.”
The Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, said: “This is a shocking and horrific attack targeting children and young people who were simply enjoying a concert,” and paid tribute to the emergency services.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said the incident was “horrifying”.
“If it is confirmed this was a terrorist attack it is a monstrous act but also a deeply futile one. Manchester is a proud and strong city and we will not allow those who seek to sow fear and division to achieve their aims.
“We give heartfelt thanks to our emergency services for their response and council staff are doing all they can to support.
The metro mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones, my admiration to our brave emergency services.
“A terrible night for our great city.”
Scooter Braun, Ariana Grande’s longtime manager, posted a statement about the attack
He wrote: “Tonight, our hearts are broken.
“Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack.”
Grande, 23, also tweeted as the tragic scene played out in real-time, writing: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”
Twitter accounts linked to Islamic State have used hashtags referring to the blast to post celebratory messages, with some users encouraging similar attacks elsewhere.