The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bomber attack outside the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, where singer Ariana Grande was performing. The attack on Monday night left 22 people dead and at least 59 others injured.
The Associated Press confirmed that the extremist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, said one of its members carried out the attack. ISIS’ own media also sent out a statement, claiming that a “soldier” placed the bomb that detonated.
The statement came just minutes after the Greater Manchester police confirmed that they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack, but did not release his name. The person is not the bomber, who died in the attack.
ISIS waited hours to take responsibility for the attack, but there were reports that its supporters were “celebrating” the attack.
The identity of the suicide bomber has not yet been revealed. Prior to the arrest of the 23-year-old, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a televised press conference that police currently believe the attack was carried out by one man.
“We believe at this stage the attack last night was conducted by one man,” Hopkins said. “We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity.”
Within moments of the explosion, police said they were investigating it as a “terrorism incident.” Prime Minister Theresa May strongly condemned the attack, which targeted young people, many of whom were hoping to enjoy a concert with their parents and friends.
“It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack. An attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation,” May said after an emergency cabinet meeting, CNN reports. “We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage.”
Grande herself was not injured in the attack, which happened just after she finished performing and pink balloons fell from the ceiling. Some witnesses even told the BBC that they thought the explosion was popping balloons at first. “broken,” Grande tweeted. “from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”
Manchester Ariana Grande Concert Explosion: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
A suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device, killing 22 people and wounding 59 others at the Manchester Arena in England during an Ariana Grande concert.
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