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Manchester terror attack: what we know

Manchester terror attack: what we know
By Chris Harris
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What happened?

What happened?


A suicide bomber, believed to be Salman Abedi, 22, set off an ‘improvised explosive device’ around 10.30pm on Monday after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.

The blast rocked the foyer of the venue as thousands of fans and parents streamed out of the gig.

Footage shot inside the arena showed concert-goers’ initial shock, before panic set in as people rushed for the exit.

Nearby hotels provided shelter for teenagers fleeing the stadium. Helpers used social networks to connect worried parents with their children.

Mancunians also offered a free bed or lifts home to those stranded.

The bombing was claimed by ISIL and police are investigating the claim.

How many people died?

The death toll stands at 22 people.

The victims include an eight-year-old girl, several teenage girls, a 28-year-old man and a Polish couple who had come to collect their daughters from the gig.

Police say more than 100 people were injured, including a dozen children.

PM Theresa May said many had life-threatening injuries.

What do we know about Salman Abedi?

US officials told Reuters Abedi was born in Manchester to parents of Libyan origin.

Police only say they suspect Abedi of being the suicide bomber as formal identification of the body has not been carried out yet.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd says it is likely Abedi, a student at the University of Salford, was acting as part of a terrorist group.

Authorities believe he had help in building the bomb and that his accomplices could be ready to strike again.

He is believed to have had recently returned from a trip to Libya and had transited through Istanbul and Düsseldorf four days before he carried out the attack.


The bombing in Manchester is the UK’s deadliest since a series of co-ordinated attacks on London’s transport system killed 52 people in July 2005.

The UK terrorism threat level has been raised to “critical”.

Have there been any arrests?

Yes. British police swooped to arrest a 23-year-old man in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Latest update

— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 26, 2017

In the days that followed, police arrested 10 people but only eight currently remain in police custody.


Abadi’s father and younger brother, both living in Libya, were also detained by Libyan authorities.

Police also searched multiple addresses in northern and central England. Explosives were found at one site, reported Reuters.

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