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UK raises terror threat level to critical in wake of Manchester attack

Late on the night of 22 May an explosion caused the death of at least 22 people at Ariana Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena, United Kingdom. ISIS has claimed the attack and UK’s terror threat level has been raised to critical.

At least 22 people, including children, have died in a suspected “terror attack” at a concert by US singer Ariana Grande, popular among teenagers, on 22 May in Manchester, UK, at 22:35 local time. 59 people have been injured and some are missing. The explosion took place at the entrance of the Manchester Arena at the end of the concert, when people were leaving the venue, which was full with around 21,000 attendees. The attack has been claimed by the Islamic State through its official Telegram account. Police have set up an emergency number for those concerned about friends and relatives: 0161 8569400.


23:46 – The headlines of UK’s most important newspapers.

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The Guardian, 24 May 2017

 

times uk
The Times, 24 May 2017

21:00 – The United Kingdom’s terror threat level has been raised to “critical” (from “severe”) in the wake of the attack in Manchester, meaning that another incident could be imminent. It’s the alert level that precedes a state of emergency. The announcement was made by Theresa May after a meeting with Cobra.

19:00 – BBC made a video for all young people directly or indirectly involved in the Manchester attack, reminding that it’s normal to feel upset and worried and to wonder if it could happen again to us and our family. The conclusion is reassuring: “events like this are very rare, stories like this don’t happen very often”.

18:23 – Manchester police confirm that the man suspected of being the bomber of the attack is 22-year-old Salman Abedi. Abedi was born in Manchester in 1994, after his parents fled Libya and then dictator Muammar Gheddafi. He was a student at Salford University and lived in Fallowfield district.

17:25 – US officials named Salman Abedi, a British 22-year-old man of Libyan origin, as the Manchester attacker. After CBS and Politico, the Associated Press confirmed the facts. However, UK authorities hasn’t confirmed yet the identity of the suicide bomber.

16:10 – Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May meet Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. Prime Minister Theresa May held a COBRA meeting this morning following a suicide attack at Manchester Arena as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. Greater Manchester Police have confirmed the explosion as a terrorist attack by the Islamic State with 22 fatalities and 59 injured.

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Home Secretary Amber Rudd (L), Prime Minister Theresa May (C) and Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkinse (R) © Leon Neal/Getty Images

14:00 – According to the BBC the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena attack was in primary school. All others are teenagers and adults.

13:51 – The Islamic State has claimed the attack via its official Telegram channel, the instant messaging app similar to Whatsapp.

12:51 – A 23-year-old man has been arrested at the Arndale Centre, but this is not currently believed to be connected to last night’s attacks, Greater Manchester Police said.

12:00 – At 10 Downing Street, the seat of the UK government, Prime Minister Theresa May made a speech about the attack, confirming that 22 people have died and 59 have been injured, many of whom young people and children, and that the campaign ahead of the general election on the 8th of June has been suspended. She also said she will be visiting Manchester later today.

“I have just chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, Cobra … Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims .. It is beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack [that] targeted the youngest people … One of the worst terrorist incidents ever experienced in the UK … the worst attack the city has experienced, the worst ever in the north of England.

At 10:33 [pm] last night police were called following an explosion … A single terrorist detonated an improvised explosive device … A calculated attack meant to cause carnage. All acts of terrorism are cowardly but what we saw last night was an act of appalling, sickening cowardice deliberately targeting children and young people … We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room full of children and young people … as an opportunity for carnage. The police and security forces believe the attack was carried out by one man … and believe they know the identity of the perpetrator”, in addition investigations are being carried out to find out whether other people were involved in the attack.

“Whilst we experienced the worst of humanity last night in Manchester, we also saw the best,” May said praising the efforts of the emergency forces and the displays of solidarity on the part of the city’s residents.

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Theresa May makes a speech at 10 Downing Street on the attacks that took place in Manchester on 22 May

10:20 – The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker declared: “It was with great sadness and profound shock that I learnt of the brutal attack that struck Manchester. 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. I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to Prime Minister May and to the British people. 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. They underestimate ours and your resilience – these cowardly attacks will only strengthen our commitment to work together to defeat the perpetrators of such vile acts”.

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Teenagers leaving the Park Inn Hotel where they had taken shelter after the explosion at the Manchester Arena © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

10:00 – London mayor Sadiq Kahn released a written statement.

09:20 – Flags at half mast in Downing Street.

And at the European Commission in Brussels.


09:11 – Home Secretary Amber Rudd‘s statement to the British people.

08:33 – Manchester-born singer Liam Gallagher and ex frontman of the band Oasis tweeted commenting the attack.

08:30 – Prime Minister Theresa May declared: “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” until proven otherwise. The attacker, a male, died in the explosion caused by an homemade explosive device. Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins declared that “this has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester”. Over 400 police officers are in the area following the attack.

08:20 – The video of Ian Hopkins‘ press conference that was held this morning.

08:00Ariana Grande‘s tweet following the attack.

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