22 people die in Manchester terror attack

23rd Jun 2017
22 people die in Manchester terror attack

Flowers are left in tribute to the victims of the May 22 terror attack on Manchester Arena, in central Manchester, May 26 (Photo: Muhabiri Behlül Çetinkaya/AA)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Twenty two people were killed and 59 injured in a suicide bombing at a crowded pop concert in Manchester, the most deadly attack in the UK since the July 7, 2005 London bombings that killed 52 people.

The carnage unfolded at approximately 10.30pm on May 22 at the end of a concert by the US singer Ariana Grande popular with teenagers and children.

Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb in the foyer, causing hundreds of people to flee. The bomb left a scene of carnage in the foyer, where medics described treating wounds consistent with shrapnel injury.

The attack came less than three weeks before the general election on June 8. In response, all parties suspended campaigning.

Police raided a number of properties in south Manchester in the wake of the attack, including one address in Fallowfield where a controlled explosion was used to gain entry.

Witnesses in Manchester described how, after the concert had finished, the house lights came on and then a loud bang was heard. Majid Khan, 22, said: “A huge bomb-like explosion went off that hugely panicked everyone trying to flee the arena.

“It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit.”

People in Manchester rallied round to help people caught up in the attack. Hotels offered refuge and some locals opened up their homes. Some cab drivers, many of whom Muslim, waived their fares.

The attack came after weeks of heightened activity and disrupted plots by police and MI5. In March, four people died after an attack in Westminster which targeted the Houses of Parliament.

The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, paid tribute to emergency services, saying: “This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society – young people and children out at a pop concert. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims who have been affected.”

Prime Minister, Theresa May, said: “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack. All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.”

Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted his sympathy for the victims: “Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services.”

The Liberal Democrat Leader, Tim Farron, said: “This is a shocking and horrific attack targeting children and young people who were simply enjoying a concert,” and paid tribute to the emergency services.

Newly elected Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones, my admiration to our brave emergency services. A terrible night for our great city.”


Widespread Muslim condemnation

Muslim organisations across the UK condemned the attack as “utterly deplorable”, “mindless and unjustifiable act”.

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said his thoughts are with the victims and their families adding, “This is horrific, this is criminal. May the perpetrators face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next.

“I pay tribute to the police and emergency services who have worked valiantly to save lives last night. They were helped by civilians who rushed in to offer their support. I urge all those in the region and around the country to pool together to support those affected.”

Representatives of the Didsbury Mosque, where the terrorist worshipped distanced the centre from Abedi and condemned his actions in the strongest possible terms.

In a strongly worded statement, Didsbury mosque and Manchester Islamic Centre called the bombing “an act of cowardice” and insisted it had worked peacefully at the heart of the community for half a century.

The Manchester Councils of Mosques said in a statement, “This is and will always be a mindless and unjustifiable act, targeting the innocent and young in this indiscriminate manner. The perpetrators, whoever they may be, must bear the full consequences of their actions.”

North of the border the Muslim Council of Scotland described the attack as “an act of indiscriminate hate by people who wish to break a great and diverse community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, the injured, their friends.”

A spokesman for the British Muslim Forum said: “The senseless murder of innocents is utterly deplorable. With each mass murder, the terrorists deliberately seek to foster hatred and suspicion. They hope our societies restrict the very values and freedoms that define our democracy. Through their vile actions, the terrorists have yet again shown no regard for any religion or humanity. I hope that people of all faiths and none will continue to stand together against these attackers and what they represent.”

Manchester’s Muslim community report bomber on 5 different occasions

On May 29, MI5 launched an internal inquiry into its handling of the warnings it had received about the bomber and a second, “more in depth” inquiry, into how it missed the danger after it emerged security services received at least five tip-offs over five years from Muslim community leaders and family members that the 22-year-old could become a killer.

Abedi, who was born in Manchester to Libyan refugees, was known to British security services and police but was not regarded as a high risk. According to a friend Abedi “went to Libya three weeks ago and came back, like, days ago”.

According to reports, the first calls from worried friends came as long as five years ago.

A community worker said two people who knew Abedi at college made separate calls to the police begging them to take action.

He told the BBC he had called a hotline five years before the bombing to warn police about Abedi’s views and members of Britain’s Libyan diaspora said they had “warned authorities for years” about radicalisation.

It emerged Abedi had visited the German city of Dusseldorf – where Berlin Christmas market killer Anis Amri lived – just four days before killing 22 people at Manchester Arena.

According to a retired European intelligence officer, Abedi was in contact with members of the ISIS Battar brigade ISIS in Sabratha, Libya. GMP said Abedi made “core purchases” for the construction of the bomb in the four days between his return from Libya and the attack, apparently constructing the bomb by himself.

It is also believed that authorities were aware that Abedi’s father, Ramadan Abedi, had potential links to terror-related groups.

Former Libyan official, Abdel-Basit Haroun, said his father was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s, which had links to al-Qa’ida.

Leave a Comment

What is 4 + 10 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets