Manchester, May 23: At least 22 persons, including children, died and 59 were injured in a suicide terror attack that hit Manchester Are on Monday night just as a concert by American pop singer Aria Grande had ended. British Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the “appalling terrorist attack” that comes two months after the Westminster attack.
Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins confirmed that a male suicide bomber is suspected to have carried out the attack in the foyer of the Are building as 20,000 fans were streaming towards the exit doors. The explosion, the second to hit Manchester city in 21 years, took place around 10.35 p.m. (local time).
At least 60 ambulances attended the scene of the blast, as over 240 distress calls were received. The Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital was blocked off to all but essential staff. No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but supporters of the Islamic State (IS) terror group were seen celebrating the blast on social media, the media reported.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services.” Indian Prime Minister rendra Modi, condemning the attack said “our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured”.
Taxis and local people offered free rides to those affected. Social media posts from the scene showed panicked concertgoers running down the are’s stairs in an attempt to get away. Charlotte Campbell told CNN that her 15-year-old daughter Olivia had not been in contact since the explosion.
Universal Music Group, the parent company of Grande’s Republic Records label, posted on Facebook: “We are deeply saddened to learn of tonight’s (Monday night) devastating event in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.”
The Manchester Victoria train station located close to the Are was shut down on Tuesday, UK tiol Rail announced. Leader of Manchester City Council Richard Leese said the city was “proud, strong and we will not allow terrorists who seek to sow fear and division to achieve their aims”. In June 1996, an Irish Republic Army (IRA) truck-bomb exploded not far from the Are that left hundreds injured. (IANS)