Deadly Terror Attack in Manchester
Eric Lendrum, Politics Contributor
Yet another deadly terror attack has rocked the United Kingdom, this time in the city of Manchester.
Exactly two months after the Westminster attack in March that killed five, a bomb went off during Ariana Grande’s latest concert in her “Dangerous Woman” Tour, in the Manchester Arena on Monday night. The police have officially declared the attack as a suicide bombing, and are currently reporting the death toll at 22, not counting the perpetrator. One of the victims was only eight years old. Nearly 60 additional civilians were injured in the attack, including at least 12 children under the age of 16, while Grande herself was not injured as the show had already ended. The explosion did not take place inside the stadium itself, but in the foyer area near the box office as fans were slowly pouring out of the arena. This marks the single deadliest act of terrorism in the U.K. since the “7/7” bombings on July 7, 2005, in which 52 people were killed and nearly 800 were injured.
The 21,000-capacity stadium was sold out for Grande’s concert, and witnesses described a scene of initial confusion turned to chaos. Some concert-goers said the sound of the explosion was so muffled, they thought it was simply a giant balloon popping. But then, once it became clear what had happened, videostaken immediately after the explosion depicted the thousands of fans running for their lives, screaming out of the arena. The police arrived on the scene shortly afterward, and it did not take long before officials declared that they were treating the incident as a terrorist attack.
President Trump commented on the attack the next day during a joint press conference with Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority; he expressed solidarity with the victims and their families, and called the perpetrators “evil losers in life...I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term...I will call them from now on losers because that’s what they are.” Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack a display of “sickening cowardice” due to its targeting of children, and campaigning for the upcoming general election on June 8 was suspended out of respect for the victims. Grande later commented on the attack on Twitter, simply saying she was “Broken.”
The next day, the attacker was identified as 23-year-old Salman Abedi, a man who was already reportedly known to the authorities before the attack. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
You can follow the author on Twitter: @EricLendrum26.
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