Man, 23, arrested over Manchester terror attack which killed 22 and injured 59

Man, 23, arrested over Manchester terror attack which killed 22 and injured 59

A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the bomb attack which killed 22 people, including children, and injured 59 more in Manchester.
The arrest was announced just moments after Prime Minister Theresa May denounced the “appalling sickening cowardice” of the lone suicide bomber who detonated a homemade device in the foyer of the Manchester Arena just as thousands of young people were leaving a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande.
Declaring that police and security services would be given whatever resources were needed to track down any accomplices of the attacker, Mrs May vowed: “The terrorists will never win and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail.”
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.”
Speaking outside Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee, Mrs May said that police and security services believed they knew the identify of the bomber, who died alongside his victims.
She said that he had chosen the time and place of his attack deliberately to cause “maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately”.
Mrs May, who was later travelling to Manchester to speak to police chiefs, paid tributes to emergency workers and members of the public who rushed to help. She said they had shown: “The spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain – a spirit that through years of conflict and terrorism has never been broken and will never be broken.”
Police were called to reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena at 10.33pm on Monday, shortly after the end of the performance.
Victims described being thrown by the blast, which 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 of the attack.
Some 400 police officers were deployed as part of the operation, with a visible presence including armed police remaining on the streets of Manchester on Tuesday.
Ambulances took 59 patients to eight Manchester hospitals, including 12 to the city’s Children’s Hospital, and around 60 “walking wounded” were also treated by crews at the scene.
Mrs May said some of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening.
Ambulance crews were accompanied by hazardous area response teams, consultant paramedics, advanced paramedics and doctors who volunteered to help, said North West Ambulance Service chief executive Derek Cartwright, who paid tribute to members of the public who provided assistance, first aid skills, blankets and tea.
“We are extremely proud of the professional way our staff responded and treated those involved,” he said.
Police have appealed for concert-goers and witnesses to provide them with any footage they have from the scene if they believe it can assist the investigation.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins described the attack as “the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see”.
He said investigators believed the attack was carried out by one man who died at the scene, although detectives are working to establish if he “was acting alone or as part of a network”.
Campaigning in the General Election was suspended, as messages of sympathy and support flooded in from around the world.
US President Donald Trump denounced those responsible for the atrocity as “evil losers” and pledged America’s “absolute solidarity” with the people of the United Kingdom.
Mrs May said: “It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack, an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation.
“This was among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the United Kingdom, and, although it was not the first time Manchester has suffered in this way, it is the worst attack the city has experienced and the worst ever to hit the North of England.”
She said: “We now know that 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.”
Noting that the audience at the concert included many young children and families, the Prime Minister said: “All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.”
Mrs May said parents and relatives of missing people would be experiencing “unimaginable worry” as she urged anyone with information relating to the attack to contact police.
Paying tribute to those who stepped in to help in the aftermath of the blast, the PM said: “While we experienced the worst of humanity in Manchester last night, we also saw the best. The cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester.
“The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together and in the days ahead, those must be the things that we remember.”
Mrs May said there would be “difficult days ahead” for those affected, but added: “We all – every single one of us – stand with the people of Manchester at this terrible time.
“And today, let us remember those who died and celebrate those who helped, safe in the knowledge that the terrorists will never win and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail.”
The Prime Minister is due to chair another meeting of Cobra later on Tuesday.
As investigators continue to piece together what happened, here is a summary of events so far:
:: Police said 22 people were killed and 59 others are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.
:: The attacker died at the Arena after detonating an improvised explosive device.
:: The inquiry is “complex and wide-ranging”, police said, as they urged people not to speculate on who the attacker was.
:: A cordon remains in place around the arena and nearby Manchester Victoria station, which was evacuated during the incident and remains closed.
:: It is the worst terrorist attack in the UK since 52 innocent people were killed in the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.
Grande herself said she was “broken”, in a tweet in which she said: “From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”
American Gary Walker, from Leeds, was with his wife in the foyer waiting to pick up his two daughters who were at the concert.
He said the blast happened by the foyer door, next to the merchandise, and that glass and metal nuts were left on the floor.
Mr Walker told BBC Radio 5 Live he was around three metres from the explosion and was “surprised I got away so lightly”.
One fan, Majid Khan, 22, described the blast 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.”
Greater Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham joined Tuesday morning’s Cobra meeting by video-link from the city.
Also taking part were Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, Security Minister Ben Wallace and Health Minister Philip Dunne.
They were joined by representatives of the police, including the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, as well as security agencies and Whitehall officials.
Mr Burnham described the attack as “evil”, saying: “It is hard to believe what has happened here in the last few hours, and to put into words the shock, anger, and hurt that we feel today.
“We are grieving today, but we are strong. Today it will be business as usual, as far as possible in our great city.”
:: 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.

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