MANCHESTER: At least 22 people, including children, were killed and more than 50 wounded in an explosion at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester on Monday. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility of the terror strike.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack. If confirmed, it would be the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four bombers killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London’s transport system in July 2005.
Police responded to reports of an explosion shortly after 10:35 pm (2135 GMT) at the arena, which has the capacity to hold 21,000 people, where the US singer had been performing to an audience that included many children. The man behind the attack in Manchester died when he detonated his device, police said on Tuesday.
Greater Manchester Police chief Ian Hopkins said the man had set off an “improvised explosive device” as the audience was leaving the concert.
The attack was the deadliest in Britain since July 7, 2005 when four suicide bombers inspired by Al-Qaeda attacked London´s transport system during rush hour, killing 52 people and wounding 700 more.
The Manchester blast recalled the November 2015 attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in which armed men wearing explosive belts stormed in and killed 90 people. That attack was claimed by the Islamic State.
Pakistan condemns Manchester blast
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast in Manchester. A statement from PM’s Media Office said that while sympathising with the families of those who lost their loved ones, the PM said elimination of terrorism requires concerted efforts and any such act targeted towards innocent people was highly condemnable.
Talking to Radio Pakistan, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria also condemned the attack and said, “Pakistan itself has been victim of terrorism and denounces terrorism in its all forms and manifestations.” Agencies