Suicide bomber kills 22 and injures 59 in terror attack at Manchester Arena
A terror attack carried out by a suicide bomber in the foyer of Manchester Arena has killed 22 and injured 59 people, it has been reported.
The explosion happened last night at around 10:30pm as people were leaving Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert. Many teenagers and a number of children are among the victims.
The incident has been confirmed as a terror attack by Greater Manchester Police and witnesses reported seeing nuts and bolts strewn on the ground and the smell of explosives. The attacker, who is said to have been wearing an improvised explosive device, died in the blast.
Prime Minister Theresa May is holding an emergency meeting with counter terror unit COBRA this morning and all election campaigning has been suspended until further notice.
This latest incident raises serious questions about public safety. How did the attacker make it past security to gain entry to the arena? Could anything have been done to mitigate the attack? Was there any intelligence on the perpetrator? How can public safety be improved to help prevent such incidents in future?
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins described the attack as the “most horrific incident” the city has ever faced, and said a “fast-moving investigation” was now underway to establish whether the attacker acted alone or as part of a network.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd condemned the attack as “barbaric”. She commented: “The great city of Manchester has been affected by terrorism before. Its spirit was not bowed; its community continued. This time it has been a particular attack on the most vulnerable in our society – its intention was to sow fear – its intention is to divide. But it will not succeed.”
Finally, speaking to Security News Desk, counter-terrorism expert Major Chris Hunter. added:
“ISIS believes it will succeed in its attempts to divide our tolerant population by marginalising British Muslims and stirring up dissent. But it will always fail. Our governments, ministers and often flawed policies may come and go, but our public servants – the members of the emergency services, Civil Service, and Armed Forces who make a deliberate choice to commit their lives to the service of our country; those men and women are the bedrock of our nation and their loyalty is unswerving…and they’re very good at what they do.
“And just in case there’s a time when they’re unable to meet the challenges presented to them, there’s another, formidable body of people who ISIS should also be afraid of. Very afraid. They’re the 4 million quietly unassuming patriots living amongst us who swore an oath to protect our great nation and its way of life and who would take up arms again in a heartbeat. Evil may flourish but it will never conquer. So stand-by ISIS, because we’re coming for you…and it’s going to hurt.”
(Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)