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Man arrested on suspicion of terrorism after three stabbed at Manchester shopping centre

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A man is arrested following the incident in the Arndale shopping centre
A man is arrested following the incident in the Arndale shopping centre -
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JOHN GREENHALGH via REUTERS
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A man who stabbed three people in a shopping centre in Manchester on Friday was arrested on suspicion of an act of terrorism, British police said.

Three people were taken to hospital after the attack at the Arndale shopping centre.

Greater Manchester Police said the man lunged at the victims with a large knife during the attack.

Counter-terror police took the lead on the investigation after reports a number of people were stabbed at the shopping centre.

Police said a man in his 40s had been arrested.

A 19-year-old woman and another woman were taken to hospital with stab wounds, and their conditions are described as stable.

A man in his 50s was also taken to hospital with stab wounds, while a fourth victim who was not stabbed was assessed by paramedics at the scene.

The shopping centre was evacuated as armed police rushed to the scene, with the incident occuring at 11.15am on Friday.

Police initially said they were keeping an "open mind about the motivation of this terrible incident", and that given the location and nature of the incident, counter-terror police were leading the investigation.

"He was initially arrested for serious assault and taken to police custody," Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson told reporters. "He's now been arrested on suspicion, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism."

Pictures posted on social media showed officers using a taser as they arrested a man.

Eyewitness reports said the incident happened in a Starbucks.

A Starbucks spokesperson told Euronews: "We are aware of this incident and are supporting local authorities as they respond. Our immediate priority is the wellbeing of our partners (employees) and customers in the area, and we are referring all further questions to the Greater Manchester Police."

British prime minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter he was shocked by the incident.

The city was the location for Britain's most deadly militant attack in recent years when a suicide bomber killed 22 people in May 2017 at the end of a pop concert by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena, not far from the Arndale centre.

Footage shared on social media showed a number of police cars and ambulances outside the centre early on Friday afternoon.