Police talk to people affected by the deadly terror attack in Manchester Image Credit: AFP


Daesh claims responsibility for blast

Daesh on Tuesday claimed responsibility for bombing a pop concert in the British city of Manchester and killing 22 people, including children.

The group said in a statement published on its social media channels that "one of the caliphate's soldiers placed bombs among the crowds," and threatened more attacks.


UAE condems blast at Ariana Grande concert

The United Arab Emirates has condemned the terrorist attack that took place outside the Manchester Arena in northern England late on Monday, killing 22 people and injuring 50 others.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation emphasised the UAE's unwavering stance that rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. 

The statement called for intensified and concerted efforts of the international community to ensure the eradication of the serious scourge of terrorism that is contrary to all moral and humanitarian values.

At the end of its statement, the ministry stressed the UAE's support for the British Government in the face of terrorism, and expressed its sincere condolences and solace to the British Government, people, and families of the victims of the criminal incident. The ministry also wished for a quick recovery for the injured.

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent a cable of condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom following the terrorist attack that took place at the Manchester Arena late on Monday, killing 22 people and injuring 50 others.

In the cable, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa expressed his sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen, her government, and families of the victims of the attack.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent cables of condolences to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II.


European leaders send Britain messages of support

Emmanuel Macron, newly elected president of France which has been hard hit by Islamist attacks in recent years, will offer Prime Minister Theresa May cooperation in a call later in the day, Macron's office said.

"I offer my thoughts to the British people, to the victims and their loved ones," Macron himself wrote on Twitter.

"We are fighting terrorism together."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, chief executive of the European Union, said: "It breaks my heart to think that, once again, terrorism has sought to instil fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and families should be coming together in celebration.

"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," Juncker said in a statement. "These cowardly attacks will only strengthen our commitment to work together to defeat the perpetrators of such vile acts."

Juncker's security commissioner, Briton Julian King, said on Twitter: "Today we all express our solidarity with the victims of the terrible Manchester terrorist attack".

EU flags flew at half mast outside the Union's headquarters in Brussels.

Other leaders lined up to express solidarity following the tragedy in Manchester.


What we know so far

* Death toll: British police said 22 people, including children, were killed and 59 people had been treated in hospital. A total of 60 ambulances attended the incident.

Many of the fans at the concert were young people. The explosion sparked panic as thousands of people rushed for the exits, witnesses told Reuters.

* Police said they were called at 10:33 p.m. (2133 GMT) just after a man detonated explosives among fans.

"We believe, at this stage, the attack last night was conducted by one man," Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said. "The priority is to establish whether he 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." More than 400 officers were involved in the operation overnight. Police appealed for the public to upload images and footage to assist them in their investigation.

* U.S. singer Ariana Grande had just finished the concert at the Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe with capacity for 21,000 people, when the bomber set off his device.

Grande, 23, later said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words." * Parents hunted for missing children after the blast. Many turned to social media to seek loved ones.

"Everyone pls share this, my little sister Emma was at the Ari concert tonight in #Manchester and she isn't answering her phone, pls help me," said one message posted alongside a picture of a blonde-haired girl with flowers in her hair.

* Transport police said they believed the attack had taken place just outside the Manchester Arena near a public foyer which linked to the train station.

* Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities were working to establish the full details of what police were treating as "an appalling terrorist attack". She said her thoughts were with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.

She will hold a meeting of the government's emergency response committee.

* What about the June 8 election? Major British parties have all suspended campaigning.

* No militant group has claimed responsibility so far

Twitter accounts affiliated to the jihadists have used hashtags referring to the blast to post celebratory messages, with some users encouraging similar attacks elsewhere.

* 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.


Death toll rises to 22

Manchester: Twenty-two people have been killed in a suspected explosion at the end of a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in Manchester in northwest England that is being treated as a terrorist incident, police said.

Eyewitnesses described a “huge bomb-like bang” and scenes of panic as young fans fled the venue.

A fleet of ambulances was seen rushing to the venue and bomb disposal teams were dispatched soon after.

“So far 22 people have been confirmed dead, with around 59 others injured. This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise,” police said in a statement.

The first unconfirmed reports of an explosion emerged shortly after 10.45pm on Monday (2.45am Tuesday UAE).

Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena.

“We heard the last song go and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang and smoke,” said Gary Walker from Leeds who was with his wife waiting for their daughters to come out told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Walker said he was hit by shrapnel in his foot while his wife sustained a stomach wound.

Isabel Hodgins, who had been attending the concert, told Sky News: “Everybody was panicking, there was pushing up the stairs.

“The corridor was full, it smelled of burning, there was quite a lot of smoke as we were leaving.

“It’s just shocking and we just feel very shaken up. We’re just lucky to have gotten away safely,” she said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the “appalling terrorist attack”.

“All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected,” she said in a statement.

Police patrol outside Manchester Arena following a suspected terror attack that killed 19 people.

Manchester Arena said the incident “took place outside the venue in a public space”.

Majid Khan, 22, who was attending the concert with his sister, said: “A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena”.

Calvin Welsford, 18, from Bristol told the BBC: “It almost sounded like a gunshot”.

In pictures: Deadly blast rocks UK concert

“I looked around and people were just spilling down, heading out of the building”.

“I was actually having an asthma attack. It was sheer panic,” he said.

Manchester residents opened up their homes to people left stranded by the incident, sending messages with the hashtag #RoomforManchester.

‘Lucky to have gotten away’

Several media outlets reported that there had been two explosions from within the 21,000 capacity venue.

Robert Tempkin, 22, from Middlesbrough, told the BBC: “Everyone was screaming and running, there were coats and people’s phones on the floor. People just dropped everything.

“Some people were screaming they’d seen blood but other people were saying it was balloons busting or a speaker had been popped.

“There were lots of ambulances. I saw somebody being treated. I couldn’t tell what had happened to him.”

The Manchester ambulance service warned people only to call “for life threatening emergencies” as it had “a large number of resources at the incident”.

The scene outside Manchester Arena following a suspected terror attack that killed 19 people.

Suzy Mitchell, whose flat is opposite the venue said she heard “a huge bang” and came out of her flat to see “everyone was running away in big crowds

Train services to and from Manchester Victoria Station - located under the Arena - had been cancelled.

“Disruption is expected to continue until the end of the day,” National Rail said in a statement.

British Transport Police said in a statement: “Officers are at Manchester Arena following reports of an explosion within the foyer area of the stadium at 10.30pm this evening.

The incident caused transport chaos, with traffic jams outside the venue.

“Emergency services are dealing with an incident near Manchester Victoria, resulting in all lines being closed,” operator Northern Railway wrote on its website.

Chronology of terror attacks on Britain

2003: Airliner attack foiled

Al Qaida plans to hijack planes leaving London Heathrow airport and crash them into the airport and into a high-rise building in London’s Canary Wharf business district are foiled.

2004: Multiple attacks foiled

March 30, 2004: Seven British people are arrested and accused of planning a series of attacks in Britain, including on a “large disco” in London and electricity and gas installations.

2005: London transport attacked

July 7, 2005: Four British suicide bombers inspired by Al Qaida attack London’s transport system during rush hour, killing 52 people, as well as themselves, and wounding 700. Two weeks later a failed attempt is made by another group to carry out a second wave of attacks.

2006: Transatlantic flight attacks foiled

August 10, 2006: British police foil a plot by an eight-man British gang to blow up airliners flying between the United States, Canada and Britain over the Atlantic Ocean using explosives made from liquids. The plot results in new restrictions on what passengers can carry on board.

2007: Car bombs fail

June 29, 2007: Two Mercedes cars filled with fuel, gas canisters and nails are found outside a nightclub near Piccadilly Circus, London. A day later a flaming car slams into the main terminal of Glasgow Airport in Scotland. An Indian driving the car suffers serious burns after dousing himself with petrol, and dies a month later. The passenger, Iraqi doctor, Bilal Abdullah, 29, is jailed in December 16 for at least 32 years for plotting to murder hundreds of people.

2009: Spate of Northern Ireland shootings

March 2009 sees a sudden resurgence of political violence in Northern Ireland with two soldiers shot dead outside their barracks by republican militants as they went to collect a pizza delivery, the first such slaying since 1997. Two days later a police officer is shot dead by a different paramilitary republican faction.

2013: British soldier slain

May 22, 2013: British soldier Lee Rigby, 25, is hacked to death by two Britons of Nigerian descent near an army barracks in the southeast of the capital. Witnesses say the attackers encouraged them to film the scene before being injured and arrested by police. In February 2014, Michael Adebolajo, 29, is sentenced to life in prison for the murder while Michael Adebowale, 22, receives a minimum of 45 years behind bars.

2015: London underground stabbing

December 5, 2015: A paranoid schizophrenic knifeman stabs two people, including one seriously, at London’s Leytonstone Underground station, two days after Britain’s first air strikes on Daesh in Syria. The knifeman, Somali-born Muhaydin Mire, 30, is sentenced to life behind bars. The police describe the incident as “terrorist”.

2016: Lawmaker murdered

June 16, 2016: British Labour politician and serving parliamentarian Jo Cox is murdered by a pro-Nazi sympathiser shortly before the historic but deeply divisive vote later that month to leave the EU. The killer, far-right white nationalist Thomas Mair, is sentenced to life in prison later that year.

2017: Westminster Bridge attack

March 22, 2017: Five people are killed and more than 50 are wounded when a man rams his car into pedestrians on Westminster bridge in London before crashing into the fence surrounding parliament. The attacker, 52-year-old Khalid Mahmoud, is shot dead by police at the scene.

2017: Ariana Grande concert attack

May 22, 2017: At least nineteen people are killed in a suspected terrorist attack at the end of a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in Manchester.