A terrorist attack hit an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday evening. Police have reportedly confirmed that at least 22 people, including some children, were killed in the explosion. Meanwhile, British PM Theresa May has declared a rise in threat level from severe to critical, which means a further attack is imminent. The police have identified the bombing suspect to be a 22-year-old boy named, Salman Ramadan Abedi. Also, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which is arguably the worst terrorist attack in the country since the 7/7 London bombings of 2005. Here is a list of things that we know so far about the attack:
How did British PM Theresa May react?
Apart from raising the ‘Threat Level’, Theresa May has said that her thoughts were with the victims and their families.She said that she feels for the affected people in ‘what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack’. In a televised appearance outside 10 Downing Street, May attacked the ‘appalling, sickening cowardice’ of the blast. She said members of the armed forces would be positioned at important sites to free up police for patrols and military personnel might be deployed at public events such as concerts and sports events as a further attack could potentially happen. She told the media: “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.”
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 23, 2017
Who are the dead? What about the injured?
Several children and youngsters are among the dead and missing. Meanwhile, desperate parents had spent the following night looking for their missing loved ones. They had to flood social media websites with pictures as they tried to trace them. Also, many of the 59 people injured are being treated for life-threatening conditions in eight hospitals across Manchester. 12 of those injured, are reportedly under the age of 16.
Where did the attack happen?
According to Manchester Arena, the bombing took place ‘outside the venue in a public space’. Meanwhile, British Transport police had said that the blast was reported to have hit the foyer of the building.
Who was responsible?
Police have reportedly said that their priority is to establish whether Abedi was acting alone or part of a network. In messages posted online, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
What do we know about the suspect bomber?
The suspected suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester, northern England, on Monday has been identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, British police said. Abedi was born in Manchester in 1994 to parents of Libyan birth, U.S. security officials said, citing British intelligence officials. Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Abedi was born and brought up in Britain. His parents emigrated from Libya to London before moving to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester, where they have lived for at least 10 years, the U.S. officials said. It has come to light that Abedi had recently travelled to Libya, which has raised fears that he had been trained there. It is also posing questions about the security services on whether he should have been tracked.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 24, 2017
What is the current situation there?
According to agencies, a cordon is continuously in place around the Arena and Manchester Victoria Station (a which is near the Arena). Meanwhile, forensic officers have been examining the scene. The Manchester Victoria is likely to remain closed for several days. Trains are reportedly not running in the same line as the station, and services have been diverted or cancelled. Metrolink trams are also not operating through the station.
What did Ariana Grande say?
The 23-year-old singer, who was led to safety, said on Twitter: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, [I] am so so sorry. [I] don’t have words.”
(with various agency inputs)