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23 May 2017

Manchester attack horrifies Britain

Saffie Rose Roussos, an eight-year old girl, is one of the first victims of the attack on Manchester Arena to be announced. Her mother and sister are treated for injuries in separate hospitals. The headteacher of the school that Saffie was attending said that the news of her death comes as a “tremendous shock”.

Twenty-one more people didn’t return to their homes and families last night. Fifty-nine are hospitalised, some of them in critical condition. The horror unfolded on Monday evening at the Manchester Arena. Ariana Grande had just finished her concert in front of thousands of her fans that wanted to enjoy her songs and had left the stage. The sound of a blast coming from the foyer of the arena, created panic since the concert spectators understood that it wasn’t a part of the show.

The area was locked down by policemen and ambulances with doctors coming to help the wounded lying on the floor of the foyer. John Rousse, chief officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said in a statement that “clearly there are a number of individuals who have very, very serious injuries and are requiring intensive care and people who are going to be in hospital for a long time in terms of that treatment.”

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday afternoon. The Amaq news agency released a note which said that “a soldier of the Caliphate managed to place explosive devises in the midst of gatherings of the crusaders in the city of Manchester.” Theresa May chaired an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the updates coming from various security agencies. In front of Downing Street, May said that “all acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people.”

The Queen spoke of her shock in a statement, also thanking the emergency services for their quick response. Prince Charles called the attack a “truly dreadful event”. Theresa May, speaking to journalists, said that police and security services believe that they have identified the bomber, but the name hasn’t been announced yet.

Monday’s attack in Manchester was the deadliest attack to hit the UK, since the London bombings in 2005. The police believe that the bomber used an improvised explosive device, which he detonated in the middle of the arena’s foyer. Donald Trump, from Israel where he is on an official visit, called the attackers “evil losers” and offered US assistance to the UK prime minister in the investigation into the attack.