United Kingdom raises terror threat to 'critical'

Posted May 24, 2017

It quickly turned into sheer terror instead.

An improvised explosive device went off as thousands of mostly young fans streamed out of Manchester Arena in the northern English city at the end of United States artist Ariana Grande's performance, police said. Prime Minister Theresa May canceled campaign events Tuesday after the blast, which killed at least 19 people and injured more than 50.

"I've been talking to the police about the investigation that is continuing, and they and the security services are working, obviously, to identify whether there was a wider group of people involved in this particular incident", Ms May told the BBC.

In attacking the concert, the bomber targeted an audience full of teenagers and 'tweens - Grande fans who call themselves "Arianators".

Some witnesses said the ground near the blast was covered with nuts and bolts.

Manchester Arena, formerly known as the MEN Arena, is the biggest indoor venue in the city with a capacity of around 18,000 for concerts. Some half-climbed, half-tumbled over barriers in terror.

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"It was carnage. Everyone was scrambling over each other".

"We just heard a bang".

Monday's explosion at the Grande concert sparked a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American singer's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons. It's attributed to Abu Hamzah al-Muhajir, one of the group's leaders, who was killed in Iraq in 2010. I ask everybody to be vigilant, and to cooperate with and support the police as they go about their important work.

A third raid was carried out at a flat in Carlton Road, Whalley Range, close to the other two addresses.

Her 15-year-old daughter Olivia attended the show with a friend who was found and is being treated in a hospital. She said her phone had not stopped ringing since her tweet.

After the attack, Manchester police deployed hundreds of officers overnight and at one point conducted a precautionary controlled explosion near the arena of an object they later said turned out to not be anything suspicious. "Manchester!" broke out at a vigil held in the city centre.

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"It's quite close to home - I never thought anything like this would ever happen in Manchester". "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy".

"We just ran as fast as we could to get away from that area", Lunt said. "What should have been a superb evening is now just terrible".

"This act also took place on the anniversary of Lee Rigby and it could have some influence that Trump is in Saudi Arabia or that we are preparing for a General Election".

"We will not rest from our jihad except beneath the olive trees of Rome", says the quotation under the magazine's title.

Grande was physically unhurt, but described herself as "broken".

"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 girl with flowers in her hair.

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