Queen Expresses ‘Deepest Sympathy’ In Statement On Manchester Terror Attack
Queen Elizabeth II has expressed her 'admiration' for the people of Manchester, in a statement released in response to the suicide bombing at last night's Ariana Grande concert.
As intelligence agencies and police groups investigate the tragedy, the Queen joined people across the UK in paying tribute to the victims, saying: "The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.
"I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all those who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured.
"I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care. And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity."
Police have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester in relation to last night's bombing, which has killed 22 people and injured more than 50 others.
Prime Minister Theresa May has told reporters outside Downing Street: "All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.
"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but an opportunity for carnage," she said.
"But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future, to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence. And if there turn out to be others responsible, to seek them out and bring them to justice."
Mrs May said that police believe they have identified the suicide bomber, but efforts are under way to determine whether he acted alone or was a part of a larger group.
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The city has been on high alert since last night's bombing, with the Arndale shopping centre evacuated earlier today. The bomb squad was reportedly brought in and a man was arrested - but it's believed that this was not in connection with the Manchester Arena blasts.
A guy went into the Arndale Food Court and yelled "I'm a Terrorist" and dropped a bag.
He's been removed and it was a hoax
- PEEJ (@pjfrostie) May 23, 2017
There have been stories of heroic acts in the wake of the attack. Paula Robinson, 48, told Reuters that she was at Victoria Station when the attack took place. She and her husband felt the explosion and watched as 'dozens' of teenagers ran screaming from the building.
She led the teenagers to a nearby hotel and shared her mobile number on Facebook so that worried parents could contact her and be reunited with their children.
A group of NHS staff, who were attending a conference in the city, also offered help to local hospitals.
Off-duty nurses and medics took to Twitter to offer support and assistance to those injured in the horrendous incident.
Last night's terror attack has sparked security upgrades at some of Manchester's other attractions.
The Trafford Centre has increased its security, with a statement on the M.E.N saying: "Following last night's atrocities, we are working closely with the police to provide a visible and reassuring presence in the centre. It's important to note that this does not relate to any specific threat to intu Trafford Centre, but we would ask that our customers let our security teams know if they see anything which causes them concern.
"It goes without saying that the safety and security of our customers and staff is our absolute priority and we have well-rehearsed and flexible plans in place."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: Manchester terror attack