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22 May 2024

Children among 22 killed in Ariana Grande concert attack in Manchester


Children were among 22 people killed and dozens injured in a suspected suicide bombing at a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande, in Britain's deadliest terror attack in 12 years.

Screaming fans, many of them teenagers, fled the venue in panic after the bomb blast at the end of the concert in the northern English city of Manchester on Monday evening as their parents waited in anguish.

"The arena was scarily still for five or six seconds, which felt like a lot longer, and then everybody just ran everywhere," Kennedy Hill, a teenager at the concert, told AFP.

Her mother Stephanie Hill said people were losing shoes and phones as they tried to escape the 21,000-capacity indoor Manchester Arena when the explosion went off in the foyer.

"There were fathers carrying their little girls in tears," said Sebastian Diaz, a 19-year-old from Newcastle.

Ambulances and bomb disposal teams rushed to the venue, as family members frantically searched for their loved ones, and residents opened their doors to stranded concert-goers after trains were cancelled.

Greater Manchester Police chief Ian Hopkins said Tuesday that there were children among the 22 dead, while 59 people were also injured.

"The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity," he said.

Police believe the blast was carried out by one man and are trying to find out whether he was acting alone.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "appalling terrorist attack" and suspended her campaign for the general election on June 8 along with chief opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Condolences poured in from political leaders across the globe and stars from the world of music and football.