Latest: Manchester holds vigil in wake of attacks

Latest: Thousands of people have gathered in the centre of Manchester in a show of defiance, declaring they will not be "beaten" or "intimidated" in the wake of the terror attack.

Latest: Manchester holds vigil in wake of attacks
  • An explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena at around 10.35pm last night has been called a terror attack by British Police.
  • 22 people, including many children, have been killed and 59 people, including 12 under the age of 16, have been injured in the blast.
  • The attack was carried out by a lone male suicide bomber who detonated an improvised explosive device. He died at the arena.
  • He has been identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.
  • Security services are investigating whether he acted alone or was part of a network.
  • A 23-year-old has been arrested in South Manchester in connection with the incident.
  • Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • The first victim has been named as college student Georgina Callander.
  • Eight-year-old schoolgirl Saffie Roussos was also killed.
  • A vigil will be held at 6pm on Tuesday in Albert Square, Manchester.
  • Extra police officers have been put on duty in London in the wake of the attack, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick announced.
  • A controlled explosion was carried out on Tuesday afternoon, as part of the investigation, at an address in Fallowfield.

Update 6.05pm: Thousands of people have gathered in the centre of Manchester in a show of defiance, declaring they will not be "beaten" or "intimidated" in the wake of the terror attack.

Crowds spilled from Albert Square on to nearby roads, standing together in an act of solidarity.

Lu Bowen, 40, brought flowers to lay as a mark of respect, and said it has been a "horrific" day.

Standing alongside her teenage daughter Lucy, she said: "We watched it all unfold last night.

"We felt we wanted to show a sense of solidarity and commitment that Manchester always has.

"When the chips are down, Manchester always pulls together."

Former England cricket captain Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff in the crowd ahead of a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester.
Former England cricket captain Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff in the crowd ahead of a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester.

She said some of her friends felt nervous about the prospect of coming into the city on Tuesday night, adding: "I personally just want to make a stand that even if my friends felt a bit nervous, I felt it was very important to prove that I won't be beaten, intimidated.

"And also, people have lost loved ones. If it was me, I'd want to see this."

Lucy said she had friends at the concert who were "shaken up", adding: "A few of them didn't come into school."

Her mother said: "It's been a horrific day. But we all feel the same here. We're here together."

Update 5.48pm: Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has made a statement this evening.

He said that the police will not tolerate hate towards any members of the community.

"We now have a team of specially-trained Family Liaison Officers who are supporting families," he said.

Mr Hopkins said he is aware of "speculation" on social media and has asked people to allow the police and the coroner to release the names of those killed once the families are ready.

Update 5.20pm: Greater Manchester Police said a controlled explosion was carried out at the Fallowfield address at around lunchtime today.

It came as a 23-year-old man was also arrested by plain-clothed police officers on Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, over the deadly bombing.

As armed officers carried out the Elsmore Road swoop, equipped with guns and body armour, those who live there described the scene.

Simon Turner, 46, who has lived in the neighbourhood all of his life, said he was standing in the street at around 12pm when police descended.

He told the Press Association: "It was so quick, these cars just pulled up and all these police with guns, dogs, jumped out of the car and said to us 'get in the house now'."

He said the police surrounded the property in question, that officers "did something" and said "the next thing the door blew off the house".

"It was like something from a movie scene, it was unbelievable really," he added, while also saying there was "loads of noise" when police stormed the property.

Mr Turner said "two young lads" live at the house in question, but that he knows very little about them, and said nothing like the incident has ever happened before.

He said he has not seen anyone arrested, but that officers in white forensics suits have been going in and out of the property.

Another man, who has lived on the road for more than 20 years, said: "It was loud - we could see the windows shaking, you can hear it from anywhere in the area because I could see many people rushing out of their doors to see what happened."

Greater Manchester Police said they also executed a search warrant at a property in Whalley Range, a mile from the other address.

Officers stood guard outside the entrance of the four-storey building while more uniformed police and detectives in suits could be seen entering the property, with their activity centred on a flat inside.

Mr Kinsey said he has lived in the street for 17 years and the house opposite him has had a succession of people living in it.

He said an Asian man in his mid-20s appeared to have been living in the semi by himself for the last nine months, but he had many visitors.

He said the man lived with another man before this time and possible older people before that.

Mr Kinsey said: "At different times there were a lot of different people living there.

"It was a young lad over the last 12 months.

"I have been here for 17 years and it's always been different families moving in and out.

"And I think the young lad's been there the longest - about 14 months or so."

Mr Kinsey said he had very little contact with the man in the house. He said his only interaction was when he complained about a car being badly parked and the young man gave him the middle finger sign.

He said the only other times when the house became known in the street was on a couple of occasions when he flew a flag from an upstairs window.

He said he thought it was a Palestinian flag but could be wrong.

He said the man was tall and skinny and mainly wore traditional Islamic white clothes.

Mr Kinsey said one particular man was a frequent visitor, picking up the man in a Toyota Yaris.

He said he thought the man worked in a takeaway due to the odd hours he kept.

Care support worker Mrs Kinsey, 48, said the house shook with the explosion and even her deaf dog jumped in the air.

"It's just the shock. They did this to children," she said.

Update 4.53pm: Armed officers raided the address of Manchester bombing suspect Salman Abedi, ordering residents indoors as they carried out a controlled explosion.

Elsmore Road, where Abedi was registered as living, became the centre of the investigation into Monday's outrage as detectives hunted those thought to be behind the blast.

The suspect was named by US security services in Washington, as those who live on the red-bricked semi-detached street said they know little about those who reside at the address.

A couple living opposite the house on Elsmore Road said was they were sure no-one was arrested and that police found the house empty.

Alan and Frances Kinsey filmed the dramatic police raid on the semi-detached property in their quiet street

The footage shows a line of more than 20 officers, all armed, approaching the house.

All the officers were wearing grey, specialist firearms uniforms with helmets and goggles.

Vehicle transporter Mr Kinsey, 52, said the officers put a black strip down the door, retreated and then 60 to 90 seconds later there was a loud explosion.

He said: "Armed police came down. There must have been 30 and 40 of them.

"Some were dressed in khaki and some of them were in police uniforms. All armed. A couple of them had riot shields."

Mr Kinsey said dogs were taken into the house with the armed officers but he was adamant no-one was brought out.

He said: "They didn't find anybody in the house at the time.

"We kept watching and they didn't bring anybody out."

Asked about other reports of an arrest in the street, he said: "That must have been somewhere else because there wasn't anybody brought out."

Update 4.33pm: British authorities have identified suspected Manchester bomber as Salman Abedi, US officials have said.

Update 4.21pm: A third victim has been named among of last night’s terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena.

It is believed that 26-year-old John Atkinson from Bury had been leaving the venue when it was targeted by the suicide bomber.

Friends and family have paid their respects online, describing him as an "amazing young man".

John Atkinson.
John Atkinson.

Update 4.10pm: Greater Manchester Police have said that they do not think there are any missing children left in hotels in Manchester after last night's bombing.

Two hotels near the arena, the Holiday Inn and Premier Inn, both took in stranded children in the immediate aftermath and looked after them overnight.

Up to 60 people caught up in the attack were reported to have been taken in by Holiday Inn hotels near the arena.

Hundreds of people are still desperately trying to trace loved ones in the aftermath of the terror attack at Manchester Arena which left 22 dead and at least 59 injured.

Update 4.02pm: Islamic State's claim it is behind the Manchester bombing has not been verified in the United States, intelligence chiefs have said.

The terror organisation, known as IS and Isis, claims responsibility for "virtually every attack", US director of national intelligence Dan Coats said.

He told the senate armed services committee the atrocity was "tragic" and a reminder of the real threat faced by the West and its allies.

Mr Coats said: "Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack in Manchester, although they claim responsibility for virtually every attack.

"We have not verified yet the connection."

Mr Coats said he had just returned to the US after a visit to London where he met intelligence counterparts.

"We spent a significant amount of time discussing threats to our respective homelands.

"It's a tragic situation that we see all too much of in countries around the world, particularly our allies.

"Once again, it reminds us that this threat is real, it is not going away and needs significant attention to do everything we can to protect our people from these kinds of attacks."

Update 3.54pm: The Manchester Evening News is reporting that nearly 120 people were injured in last night's terror attack.

They said that ambulance chiefs confirmed paramedics had treated 60 walking wounded in the city centre after the bombing at the Manchester Arena.

This is on top of the 59 casualties being treated in hospitals - including at least 12 children.

Update 3.24pm: A vigil will be held at 6pm this evening in Albert Square, Manchester.

Update 3.03pm: Two Scottish girls remain missing and at least four people have been treated in hospital in Scotland following the terror attack in Manchester, the Scottish First Minister has told MSPs.

Nicola Sturgeon said the authorities cannot be sure there are no other Scots affected.

Police Scotland are in contact with the families of Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod, who attended the concert but have not been seen since the attack.

The First Minister told Holyrood's chamber: "Currently we are aware of four people who have presented at hospitals here in Scotland.

"I understand that two have already been discharged and that a third is likely to be discharged in the course of today.

"Indeed, it is my information that none of their injuries are life-threatening.

"Police Scotland are also in contact with and offering support to the families of Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod, two young girls from Barra who are still unaccounted for having attended the concert last night.

"It is hard for any of us to imagine the anguish that their families are going through right now.

"They are in our thoughts and the Scottish Government and Police Scotland will do all we possibly can to ensure that they have all the support they need.

"I must stress that we cannot be sure at this stage that there are no other Scots affected, but we continue to liaise closely with Police Scotland to gather information and provide all appropriate support."

Update 2.32pm: Manchester Arena has released a statement on last night’s attack saying the "community has suffered a senseless tragedy".

Update 2.09pm: Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that two arrest warrants have been executed as part of the investigation into the bombing.

They were both carried out in Whalley Range and Fallowfield.

Update 1.45pm: Greater Manchester Police said a controlled explosion has taken place at an address in Fallowfield as part of the investigation into the Manchester bomb attack.

A witness told the Manchester Evening News: "Residents said they heard a loud bang and then saw officers going into the house.

"There were about 20 armed officers in all black with machine guns. There were another 20 uniformed officers who were in the street."

Update 1.25pm: Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland was killed in the Manchester bomb attack, Lancashire County Council has said.

Chris Upton, headteacher at Tarleton Community Primary School, said: “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends. The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.

Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.
Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.

“Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.

“Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support from Lancashire County Council to help us do that. We are a tight-knit school and wider community and will give each other the support that we need at this difficult time.”

Update 1.21pm: A spokesman for Manchester Royal Infirmary have confirmed that 59 people were taken to eight hospitals in Manchester.

They said that 12 of the patients were children under 16 who were taken to the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital.

The Manchester Evening News are reporting two raids by heavily armed officers ar two separate houses in the city.

The first is said to have started at around noon at a property on Elsmore Avenue, Fallowfield, where a controlled explosion was reported so that officers could enter the house.

The second is said to involve anti-terrorism officers at a property on Carlton Road in Whalley Range.

Update 1.08pm: The BBC are reporting that the youngest victim of the attack was a child from a primary school.

Update 12.52pm: Islamic State have claimed responsibility for last night's bombing in Manchester, the Press Association has reported.

Police have said the bomb used in last night's attack was a "home-made" improvised explosive device.

Witnesses have told the BBC there were nuts and bolts packed into the bomb.

Update 12.30pm: The director general of MI5 Andrew Parker has condemned the terrorist attack in Manchester as "disgusting".

He also said the security service remains "relentlessly focused, in numerous current operations, on doing all we can to combat the scourge of terrorism and keep the country safe".

Update 12.10pm: The first victim of the Manchester bomb attack at the city's arena has

been named by her college as Georgina Callander.

Runshaw College in Leyland, Lancashire, spoke of its "enormous sadness" after hearing that the student died as a result of the blast at the Ariana Grande concert.

A spokesman said in a statement the young girl was on the second year of her health and social care course, and was a former student at Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy.

"Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina's family, friends, and all of those affected by this loss," the college said.

"We are offering all available support possible at this tragic time, including counselling with our dedicated student support team."

Georgina Callander.
Georgina Callander.

Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy confirmed that Georgina died as a result of the injuries she sustained.

In a statement the school said: "Georgina was a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff and always made the most of the opportunities she had at the school.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Georgina's family at this terrible time, and we think especially of her brothers Harry and Daniel who were also former students of the school.

"All of our students will gather together today for a time of prayer and reflection and to give thanks for the life of Georgina."

Update 11.50am: A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the Manchester bomb attack, Greater Manchester Police said.

Police are said to have detained him in south Manchester this morning.

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: "With regards to the ongoing investigation into last night's horrific attack at the Manchester Arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester."

Update 11.50am: The Manchester Evening News have reported that the evacuation of the Arndale centre is not thought to be related to last night's bombing at Manchester Arena.

Their reporter Charlotte Dobson has said that police found a suspicious bag at the centre which has now been made safe.

A man has also been arrested there, but it is not believed to be connected to last night's bombing.

Police have lifted the cordon around the area.

Update 11.42am: The first victim of the Manchester Arena bombing has been named as Georgina Callander.

Georgina was 18-years-old and a student of Runshaw College in Leyland.

She was in her second year of a health and social care course.

Update 11.25am: Sky News are reporting that a shopping centre in Manchester has been evacuated.

A BBC reporter has says police have not confirmed what the nature of the threat at the Arndale shopping centre but they did say that people need to get away from the centre.

Dan Johnson quoted a witness saying he heard shots. There are also reports that a man has been arrested.

BBC News Online reporter Nafeesa Shan said: "People were running as police told them to keep moving, No-one knows what's going on. Everyone just panicked. It's very scary."

Update 11.05am: A suicide bomber deliberately chose the place where he could cause "maximum carnage" when he detonated a bomb at a pop concert in Manchester, the British Prime Minister has said.

Theresa May said "many" children and young people were among the 22 dead and 59 injured in the attack.

She confirmed that police and security services believe they know the identity of the man responsible and are now working to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a group.

Speaking outside Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the British Government's Cobra emergency committee, Mrs May condemned the "cowardice" of the attacker and hailed those who rushed to help, who had shown "the spirit of Britain ... a spirit that through years of conflict and terrorism has never been broken and will never be broken".

She vowed: "The terrorists will never win and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail."

Update 11am: Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester metro mayor, has said the attack was an “evil act” that had caused anger, shock and hurt. He said: “We are grieving today, but we are strong. Today it will be business as usual, as far as possible in our great city.”

Update 10am: President Higgins has offered his sympathy, and that of the Irish people, to those affected by the Manchester Arena bombing.

In a statement, Mr Higgins said: "This cowardly attack on innocent citizens will have appalled all those who care for democracy, freedom and the right to live and enjoy the public space.

Manchester has been home to the Irish and so many nationalities for centuries and at this terrible time I want to send the people of this great and welcoming city not only our sympathy but our solidarity.

Our thoughts in Ireland are with all of the people of Manchester and our neighbours throughout the United Kingdom at this time.

I am conveying this message to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and I will be writing formally to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to convey the sympathy of the Irish people."

9.50am: President Donald Trump has expressed his "deepest condolences" to the victims of the Manchester bombing calling attackers "evil losers".

8.20am: A suicide bomber has killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester.

Some 59 people were also injured when the blast caused by an improvised explosive device carried by the attacker detonated at the Manchester Arena.

Announcing that the death toll had risen, Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said: "What I can confirm is that there are children among the deceased."

He said: "This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see.

"Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives.

"Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones.

"We continue to do all we can to support them."

Mr Hopkins said a "fast-moving investigation" had established the attack was conducted by one man, although detectives are working to establish if he was "was acting alone or as part of a network".

"The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena.

"We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated, causing this atrocity."

Police were called to reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena at 10.33pm, shortly after US singer Ariana Grande had finished her performance.

Victims described being thrown by the blast that scattered nuts and bolts across the floor.

More than 240 calls were made to the emergency services, with responders including 60 ambulances flooding the area.

More than 400 police officers were deployed as part of the operation, with a visible presence remaining on the streets of Manchester on Tuesday.

The dozens of victims injured in the attack are being treated at hospitals across Greater Manchester, and a hotline has been set up for those with concerns over loved ones who remain unaccounted for.

A large cordon remains in place around the arena and nearby Manchester Victoria Station, which was evacuated during the incident and remains closed, while forensic investigators gather evidence.

Police have appealed for concert-goers and witnesses to provide police with footage from the scene if they believe it can assist the probe.

Meanwhile anyone who witnesses suspicious activity is urged to report it to the anti-terrorist hotline.

Anyone with concerns over loved ones can contact 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900 for assistance.

Any footage from the scene can be uploaded at ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or ukpoliceimageappeal.com

The Anti-Terrorist Hotline is 0800 789321. Anyone with urgent concerns should contact 999.

Update 7am: Last night's explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena is being treated as a terror attack.

Earlier: Twenty-two people are dead and dozens injured after a suspected terrorist bombing tore through music fans leaving a concert in Manchester.

Children and young people are feared to be among those killed and wounded in the blast at the Manchester Arena which police are treating as a "terrorist incident".

Police have not said what caused or who was behind the suspected atrocity, although unconfirmed reports have suggested it was carried out by a suspected suicide bomber.

Witnesses reported hearing a "huge bomb-like bang" at around 10.30pm on Monday, as fans were leaving the arena shortly after the show finished and described glass and metal nuts on the floor.

The Prime Minister has condemned the "appalling" incident and General Election campaigning has been suspended.

Downing Street said a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee is expected to take place at around 9am on Tuesday morning chaired by Theresa May.

Ariana Grande, the US singer who had finished performing just minutes before the blast, said she had been left "broken" by the events.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said they are treating the blast as a "terrorist incident until we have further information".

If confirmed as terrorism it would be the worst attack in the UK since 56 people were killed in the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

As investigators begin to piece together what happened, here is a summary of events so far:

:: Police said around 50 people were injured, while North West Ambulance Service said 59 casualties had been taken to six hospitals around the city. Sixty ambulances attended the incident.

:: US media outlets reported officials in America as saying a suicide bomber was suspected as being behind the blast, although this has not been confirmed.

:: Home Secretary Amber Rudd described it as a "barbaric act", while Mrs May said her thoughts are with those affected by the "appalling" incident.

:: Officers carried out a controlled explosion on a second suspect item, which they later said was abandoned clothing.

Gary Walker, from Leeds, was with his wife in the foyer waiting to pick up his two daughters who were at the concert.

"I was waiting for the kids to come out. We heard the last song, and quite a few people were flooding out and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang, smoke," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I felt a bit of pain in my foot and my leg. My wife said, 'I need to lie down'. I lay her down, she'd got a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg.

"I was about three metres from the actual explosion. I am surprised I got away so lightly."

Mr Walker said the explosion was by the door in the foyer, next to the merchandise, and that glass and metal nuts were left on the floor. He said he lay down next to his wife for up to an hour, until she was stretchered on a table to an ambulance.

His daughter Abigail, who was still in the auditorium with sister Sophie at the time of the explosion, said: "I had to make sure I had my sister. I grabbed hold of her and pulled hard. Everyone was running and crying.

"We were just trying to figure where everyone was. It was absolutely terrifying."

Abigail and Sophie contacted their parents by mobile phone, a moment Mr Walker described as "fantastic news".

One fan, Majid Khan, 22, described the explosion and ensuing panic.

"A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena," he said.

"It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit."

Oliver Jones, 17, who attended with his 19-year-old sister, said: "The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.

"I seen people running and screaming towards one direction and then many were turning around to run back the other way."

The area around the arena was swamped with police and emergency services and approach roads were closed.

Manchester's Victoria station, which backs on to the arena, was evacuated and all trains and trams cancelled.

Grande, who was unhurt in the incident, later tweeted: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

Her management team, SB Projects, praised the actions of Manchester's emergency services.

They said: "Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack.

"We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act.

"We are thankful for the selfless service tonight of Manchester's first responders who rushed toward danger to help save lives.

"We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers."

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