1. Manchester Arena terror attack live updates: ISIS claims responsibility; members of the armed forces to be deployed across UK

Manchester Arena terror attack live updates: ISIS claims responsibility; members of the armed forces to be deployed across UK

Manchester Arena terror attack: At least 19 people were killed and over 50 injured in an explosion at a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in United Kingdom in early hours of Tuesday.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 24, 2017 5:12 AM
Manchester Arena terror attack: At least 19 people were killed and over 50 injured in an explosion at a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in United Kingdom in early hours of Tuesday. (Reuters image)

Manchester Arena terror attack: A suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded arena hosting US star Ariana Grande’s pop concert in Manchester, killing at least 22 people, including some children and injuring 59 others, the deadliest terror attack in the UK since the 7/7 bombings of 2005. Police said the attacker detonated the explosives shortly after 10:33 pm (2133 GMT) at Manchester Arena, which has the capacity to hold 21,000 people. The blast also came two and half weeks ahead of an election in which PM May is predicted by opinion polls to win a large majority.

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5: 08am: The University of Salford which is based in Manchester, in a statement says that the 22 year old suspect Abedi was one of the students, reported news agency Reuters.

3: 58am: According to news channel CNN, the Manchester terror attacker was of a libyan dissent.

3: 34am: British PM has also said that UK attacker is a British native, reports news channel CNN.

3: 33 am: UK PM Theresa May has said that members of the armed forces would be deployed across the UK as the terror level has risen, reports BBC.

3:00 am: UK terror threat level has been raised from severe to critical, reports BBC

2.21 am: Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that condeming the minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “It is a deadly attack. Terrorism in any form should be condemned. It has no colour and religion it should be curbed,” reported PTI

Also Read: Manchester terror attack: What is known about 22-year-old suspect Salman Abedi

10.40 pm: British police name Manchester attacker as Salman Abedi (Reuters)

10.40 pm: British police name Manchester attacker as Salman Abedi (Reuters)

10. 36: After the Manchester Arena terror attack in England the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday reiterated their commitment to safety and security of all the teams participating at the Champions Trophy, beginning June 1 at the Oval. (ANI)

10.35 pm: A minute’s silence has been observed before Manchester United’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockolm on Wednesday.

22.00 pm: Theresa May signs Manchester’s book of condolence. The prime minister has signed the city’s book of condolence.

9.30 pm: It has been reported Liverpool mayor’s daughters witnessed bomb attack. The 55-year-old father-of-three said: “The phone call I got from my wife… were some of the longest seconds of my life,” BBC news reported.

9.00 pm: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have observed a minute’s silence for the Manchester attack at a garden party this afternoon at Buckingham Palace.

8.40 pm: UK PM Theresa May has visited Greater Manchester Police Headquarters and Manchester Children’s Hospital this afternoon

8.00 pm: Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has said that he is ‘shocked and saddened’

7.30 pm: Police believe ‘no unaccompanied children’ in hotels

7.02 pm: Manchester Arena, the venue of attack, tweets fresh statement

6.44 pm: Controlled explosion took place in Fallowfield, as part of the investigation into last night’s attack: Greater Manchester Police.

6.00 pm: Tribute from Brussels

5.22 pm: IS group claims Manchester concert bombing: Reports AFP quoting Amaq

5.11 pm: A major shopping centre in Manchester, which was evacuated after attack, has now been reopened, news agency Reuters reported.

4.50 pm: Watch | police believe they know who the attacker is

4.34 pm: 23-year-old man arrested in Manchester in connection with last night’s terror attack at Manchester Arena, reports BBC

3.45 pm: Watch | Manchester United Squad hold minute’s silence for victims of Manchester Arena attack

3.32 pm: Afshin Shahi, a security and terrorism expert, told BBC Breakfast he “very much doubts” the attack was carried out by a lone wolf, saying it was “absolutely consistent” with other terror atrocities carried out in Europe.

3.22 pm: Chinese president Xi Jinping has sent a message to the Queen of Britain. The Chinese president has expressed deep condolences to the victims and heartfelt thoughts to the injured and families of the victims, according to official Xinhua news agency.

3.04 pm: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says “We stand with the UK in the fight against terrorism.”

2.51 pm: Watch Video | US President Donald Trump describes those behind the Manchester attack as “losers”1

2.45 pm:  “People were just running everywhere. It was total chaos,” say #Manchester Arena blast witnesses

2.35 pm: TOP UPDATES So far
• 22 dead
• At least 59 injured
• Suspected suicide attack
• Emergency ☎ 01618569400

2:05PM: Iran condemned the suicide attack, but in an apparent swipe at Western security cooperation with Gulf Arab states said “artificial alliances” would not eliminate such threats. “Terrorism will be uprooted only by taking comprehensive measures, and avoiding double standards,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA on Tuesday. “Artificial alliances would not stop the expansion of cancerous terrorism in the world.”

Watch this video

2:00PM: Trump says the attack preyed on “innocent children.” He says this “wicked ideology must be obliterated. And I mean completely obliterated.” Trump says “civilized nations must join together to protect human life.”

1:55PM: US President Donald Trump expressed solidarity with the United Kingdom in the wake of a deadly blast at an Ariana Grande concert, condemning the “evil losers” behind the blast. Trump spoke on Tuesday after a meeting in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

1:50PM: According to TMZ, Ariana Grande has indefinitely suspended her world tour in the wake of the attack. The website cited sources close to Grande, saying she has decided not to perform on Thursday in London and has also put her entire European tour on hold. She was scheduled to perform in England, Belgium, Poland, Germany and Switzerland.

1:45PM: The blast occurred on the anniversary of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, who was hacked to death on a London street on May 22, 2013. Rigby’s murder gained international notoriety when Michael Adebolajo was filmed by passers-by standing in the street with blood-soaked hands trying to justify the attack.

1:40PM: The launch of the Scottish National Party’s policy offer was suspended on Tuesday after the suicide attack. The presentation of the SNP’s policy document for Britain’s June 8 national election was suspended along with all other party campaign events until further notice.

1:35PM: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, actress Priyanka Chopra, Shabana Azmi and filmmaker Karan Johar today condemned the terror attack on pop star Ariana Grande’s gig in Manchester, England, and offered condolences to the victims.

1:30PM: France’s government is offering sympathy and solidarity following the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester which killed 22 people. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also expressed solidarity. Paris has grim experience with the type of attack that struck Britain, after multiple Islamic State attackers struck a concert hall, the national stadium and cafes and bars on Nov. 13, 2015, killing 130 people.

1:25PM: The White House says President Donald Trump is being provided updates on the Manchester concert explosion by his national security team. Trump is in the midst of his first overseas trip as president. He’s meeting Tuesday in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and speaking at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. His spokesman Sean Spicer provided the update on Twitter.

1:20PM: The German government is offering condolences to Britain after the deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel wrote Tuesday on Twitter: “Terrible news from Manchester! Our thoughts are now with our British friends. United we stand.” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, tweeted: “Our thoughts (and) prayers are with the people in (hash)Manchester affected by the blast. We mourn for the dead (and) hope the injured can recover fully.” Merkel said the terror attack in Manchester will strengthen our resolve to fight despicable perpetrators together with our British friends

1:15PM: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says Europe is mourning with Britain after a bomb killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester. Juncker said in a statement Tuesday that “today we mourn with you. Tomorrow we will work side by side with you to fight back against those who seek to destroy our way of life.” He adds: “It breaks my heart to think that, once again, terrorism has sought to instill fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and families should be coming together in celebration.”

1:10PM: Pop concerts and nightclubs have been a terrorism target before. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal on Nov. 13, 2015. In Turkey, 39 people died when a gunman attacked New Year’s revellers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul. Manchester, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that levelled a swath of the city center. More than 200 people were injured, though no one was killed.

1:05PM: The incident sparked a nightlong search for loved ones as frantic parents tried to locate their teenage children, and groups of friends scattered by the explosion sought to find one another. Taxi services offered to give stranded people rides home for free, and residents opened their homes to provide lodging for others who could not get home because public transport had shut down. Twitter and Facebook were filled with appeals for information about people who had not been accounted for.

1:00PM: Manchester Arena said on its website that the blast struck outside the venue as people were leaving. Some eyewitnesses said it happened in the foyer of the arena just after the concert ended. Police cars, bomb-disposal units and 60 ambulances raced to the scene as the scale of the carnage became clear. More than 400 officers were deployed after the blast. Meanwhile, the Indian High Commission has opened a helpline. Read more

12:55PM: Forensic investigations are continuing to determine if the attacker had accomplices, said Chief Constable Ian Hopkins. He provided no information about the individual who detonated the device. Hopkins said some of the dead were children but provided no further details about the victims or the attacker. The concert was attended by thousands of young music fans in northern England.

12:50PM: Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed shock and grief over the blast in Manchester. She conveyed solidarity and offered condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones in the “ghastly” attack. “The entire world community must come together as one to fight the scourge of terrorism cutting across boundaries and religion,” she said.

12:45PM: British finance minister Philip Hammond said he would return to London from Brussels earlier than planned after an attack in Manchester killed 22 people and injured 59 late on Monday. Hammond said he would return to London straight after a meeting of European finance ministers on Tuesday morning.

12:40PM: The British government’s emergency security committee was due to meet later today to discuss the attack at a concert staged by U.S. singer Ariana Grande. Police said the device was detonated by a male suicide bomber shortly after 10:33 pm (2133 GMT) at Manchester Arena.

12:38PM: Japan said it had started gathering information. “We have strengthened our position by establishing an information-gathering unit dedicated to international terrorism,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. In Singapore, the organiser of Britney Spears’ concerts in June said they were considering new measures. “We are definitely looking at tightening security,” Yogesh Mehta, project manager at IME Entertainment Group, said. “All our events are licensed by the police. It is normally advised by the licensing department on what precautions to take, how many armed guards we need. So we work closely with them.” Singapore, which hosts a security summit between June 2-4 bringing together Asia-Pacific defence and military chiefs, made amendments to the Public Order Act last month.

12:35PM: Following the suicide bomb attack in Manchester, countries from the United States to Japan and Singapore are considering tightening security ahead of major theatre and sports events. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it was closely monitoring the situation in Manchester and that the U.S. public may experience increased security at public events.

12:30PM: French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a telephone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the Manchester attack, Macron’s office said in a statement on Tuesday. “The President of the Republic will pursue with the government, and with British forces, the fight against terrorism,” said the statement. “Emmanuel Macron will hold a telephone call with Theresa May and will be kept informed in real time on developments in the inquiry,” added the statement, which also expressed France’s compassion and solidarity with Britain.

12:25PM: Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue. Desperate parents and friends used social media to search for loved ones who attended Monday’s concert while the wounded were being treated at six hospitals across Manchester.

12:20PM: In March, a British-born convert to Islam ploughed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing to death a police officer who was on the grounds of parliament. The man was shot dead at the scene. In 2015, Pakistani student Abid Naseer was convicted in a U.S. court of conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up the Arndale shopping centre in the centre of Manchester in April 2009.

12:15PM: French PM Philippe says calls on French citizens to have the utmost vigilance after “abominable crime” in Manchester. Britain is on its second-highest alert level of “severe”, meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. British counter-terrorism police have said they are making on average an arrest every day in connection with suspected terrorism. Reuters reported that Islamic State supporters took to social media to celebrate the blast and some encouraged similar attacks elsewhere.

12:10PM: Asian currencies were subdued on Tuesday following the attack in Manchester dampening a mild resurgence in risk appetite, just as investors had begun looking past the political crisis still simmering in Washington. “Market reaction has been fairly muted in Asia in response to the Manchester blast. The yen did strengthen slightly initially, but this has partly unwound,” said  Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore.

12:05PM: Grande is currently on a European tour — she has already played in Birmingham and Dublin and is due to be at the O2 Arena in London tomorrow and Thursday. Last night’s blast came two months after a careening driver left four people dead on London’s Westminster Bridge, then stabbed to death a police officer at the gates of Parliament. Yesterday’s blast was also the deadliest after the July 7, 2005, London bombings, that were a series of coordinated terrorist suicide bomb attacks in central London. The bombings had targeted civilians using the public transport system during the rush hour. Fifty-two people were killed and over 700 more were injured in those attacks.

12:00PM: The UK’s Network Rail said train lines out of Manchester Victoria station, which is close to the concert venue, were blocked. Manchester Arena is the biggest indoor venue in the city. The arena foyer connects with Victoria train and tram station, a major hub on the northern edge of the city centre. The arena regularly hosts concerts by major stars like Grande.

11:55AM: Manchester, a heavily industrialised town, is home to a significant number of people from South Asia. British Transport Police said the explosion occurred in the foyer area of Manchester Arena that has a capacity of 21,000. Greater Manchester Police also carried out a “controlled explosion” in the Cathedral Gardens area near the Manchester Arena, but have since confirmed the item they found was abandoned clothing and not dangerous.

11:50AM: Police confirmed the attacker died at the arena. They said the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing the massive blast. Official sources in New Delhi said they were ascertaining if there were any Indian casualties in the blast. “Any Indians injured during Manchester attack today may reach off-office hours Public Response Unit of HCI (High Commission of India) ASAP (as soon as possible) at 020 7632 3035,” the Indian High Commission here tweeted. Read More

11:45AM: “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. They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester,” Greater Manchester Police Chief constable Ian Hopkins said. “This is a fast-moving investigation…We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe that while the attack last night was conducted by one man, the priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network,” he said in a statement.

11:40AM: Children and teenagers were among the dead because of the very young demographic of the pop star’s fans, with desperate parents and relatives waiting for the news of loved ones after the blast struck the Manchester Arena last night.

11:35AM: UK Police say that the death toll in Manchester Arena terror attack rises to 22. Sole attacker killed in the explosion; was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated.

11:30AM: Theresa May will hold a crisis response meeting later today. Meanwhile, Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said police were treating the blast as a terrorist incident and were working with counter-terrorism police and intelligence agencies but gave no further details on their investigation. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his condolences over the blast to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, Chinese state media reported.

11:25AM: May, who faces an election in two-and-a-half weeks, said her thoughts were with the victims and their families. May and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, agreed to suspend campaigning ahead of the June 8 election. “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” May said in a statement. “All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.”

11:20AM: A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush by thousands of people trying to escape the building. A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Dozens of parents frantically searched for their children, posting photos and pleading for information on social media.

11:15AM: President Pranab Mukherjee has condemned the Manchester Arena terror attack. This is what he had to say

11:10AM: If the blast is confirmed as a terrorist incident, it would be the deadliest attack in Britain by militants since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London’s transport system in July 2005. “We could see a bout of nervousness re: the terror threat, but it’s likely to be minor,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney. “Ever since 9/11, the impact on markets from terrorist events has been declining.”

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11:05AM: Sterling slipped after the attack while the euro held gains made after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was “too weak”. Despite the explosion, at a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande, European markets were poised for a positive start. The attack came just two-and-a-half weeks before an election that Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to win easily, although polls showing that the contest was tightening added to sterling’s woes.

11:00 am: Hollywood celebrities flooded social media with condolences and heartfelt messages following the deadly attack.

Watch this video

10:45 am: Desperate parents and friends used social media to search for loved ones while the wounded were being treated at six hospitals across Manchester, says report.

10:30 am: Britain’s political parties have agreed to suspend election campaigning until further notice following the attack. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, said in a statement that he had spoken to Prime Minister Theresa May and had agreed that all national campaigning for the June 8 election would be suspended.

10:10 am: London stands with Manchester – our thoughts are with all those killed and injured tonight and our brave emergency services, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

10:05 am: US officials told Reuters that the timing and venue suggested a terror attack, possibly by a suicide bomber. “This does not appear to have been a carefully planned attack involving multiple actors, extensive surveillance of the target or exotic materials,” said another US official.

Watch this video

10:00 am: Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins said the investigation to identify the perpetrators behind the deadly attack is underway, until which the attack is being treated as a terrorist incident. “We are working closely with the National Counter Terrorism Policing Network and UK Intelligence partners. It is recommended that citizens of Manchester remain away from the area and be vigilant at all times. We are doing all that we can,” he said.

9:55 am: BJP President Amit Shah said that the loss of lives in Manchester attack is disturbing. We strongly condemn it, he said. “We must come together to make the world a more peaceful place,” Shah said.

9:50 am: New York authorities have stepped up security at sensitive sites following the deadly attack in Manchester, although officials said there was no indication of a threat to US targets. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was ordering additional patrols at high-profile locations including airports and the subway ‘out of an abundance of caution’ after the assault at the show by US pop star Ariana Grande.

Watch this video

9:30 am: India stands by government and people of United Kingdom in this hour of distress: President Pranab Mukherjee.

9:22 am: Shocked to hear of Manchester blast; condolences to families of deceased and prayers for injured, says President Pranab Mukherjee.

9:15 am: MoS PMO Jitendra Singh said terror knows no boundaries, no race,no nation. Terror is terror is terror, he said, adding, world will have to come together to defeat this menace.

9:10 am: There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but US officials drew parallels to the coordinated attacks in November 2015 by Islamist militants on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in Paris, which claimed about 130 lives, according to report.

9:00 am: Manchester Mayor 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.”

8:53 am: Twitter accounts affiliated to Islamic State have used hashtags referring to the blast to post celebratory messages, with some users encouraging similar attacks elsewhere, according to agency report.

8:50 am: US Speaker Paul Ryan says, young and innocent lives lost in Manchester tonight. Praying for the victims and their families.

Watch this video

8:43 am: Islamic State supporters celebrated on social media on Tuesday after a blast at a concert venue in the north of England killed at least 19 people, although the militant Islamist group has not formally claimed responsibility, says Reuters report.

8:38 am: Police responded to reports of an explosion shortly after 10:35 pm (2135 GMT) at the arena, which has a capacity for 21,000 people, and where the US star Ariana Grande singer had been performing to an audience that included many children.

8:36 am: Ariana Grande’s tweet

8:35 am: Earlier in March, a British-born convert to Islam ploughed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people, before stabbing to death a police officer who was on the grounds of parliament. He was shot dead at the scene.

Watch this video

8:30 am: Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue. Britain is on its second-highest alert level of “severe” meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. British counter-terrorism police have said they are making on average an arrest every day in connection with suspected terrorism.

8:25 am: “It was a huge explosion – you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out.” A spokesman for Ariana Grande, 23, said the singer was ‘okay’.

Watch this video

8:20 am: A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush by thousands of people trying to escape the building. A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, running from the venue. “We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming,” concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters.

8:15 am: United States Department of Homeland Security says it is closely monitoring situation in Manchester, England after explosion.

8:10 am: British police carried out a controlled explosion near the Manchester Arena venue. There will be a controlled explosion in Cathedral Gardens shortly if you hearing anything don’t be concerned, police said on Twitter, referring to a small park opposite the concert venue. But a second tweet said that officers carrying out a precautionary controlled explosion in Cathedral Garden confirm that it was abandoned clothing, not a suspicious item.

Watch this video

8:05 am: British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives will suspend campaigning for a national election on June 8 after the terrorist attack. Opinion polls in recent days had shown May remained on track to win re-election, say reports.

8:00 am: Pained by attack in Manchester. We strongly condemn it. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured: PM Modi

7:58 am: PM Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack. If confirmed, it would be the deadliest militant assault on Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London’s transport system in July 2005.

7:55 am: Manchester Police say they are working with national police, intelligence agencies to investigate concert explosion

7:52 am: Watch this video

7:50 am: British Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a meeting of the country’s top security committee at 0800 GMT on Tuesday.

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  1. D
    May 24, 2017 at 6:25 am
    The attack is due to double standards and business interests of west. Why not pope educate sunni and shia to stop rivalry. Why US support to dictator Soudi arab
    1. R
      May 23, 2017 at 9:52 am
      Stop giving mere official statements...How does India stand by UK?, these ornamental words will have no influence on terror. Just need to hit them hard where they exist, hope every one understands it.
      1. Krishna Karmakar
        May 23, 2017 at 8:48 am
        Maybe the British pandering to Islamists and Pajistanis will now stop. The huge numbers of Pajistanis and Bangladeshis and Bosnians and Turks should now be stopped.

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