The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the suicide blast in Manchester that killed 22 and injured several others. The announcement was made by the IS mouthpiece Amaq on Tuesday evening.
Earlier in the day, a 23-year-old was arrested in south Manchester, but after examining him, have announced that he had no role to play in the blast that rocked the industrial town on Monday.
On Monday night, a suicide bomb attack in Manchester killed 22 people and injured dozens at a British concert by US singer Ariana Grande, the deadliest terror attack in the UK since the 7/7 bombings of 2005.
“With regards to last night’s incident at the Manchester Arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester,” Greater Manchester Police said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said, “The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network. 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.”
A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Dozens of parents frantically searched for their children, posting photos and pleading for information on social media.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but US officials drew parallels to the coordinated attacks in November 2015 by Islamist militants on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in Paris, which claimed about 130 lives.
British counter-terrorism police said they are making on average an arrest every day in connection with suspected terrorism.
Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and has a capacity for 21,000 people, according to its website. It is a popular concert and sporting venue.
A spokesman for Ariana Grande’s record label said that the singer was “okay”. A video posted on Twitter showed fans screaming and running out of the venue.
The UK’s Network Rail said train lines out of Manchester Victoria station, which is close to the concert venue, were blocked.
“Any Indians injured during Manchester attack today may reach off-office hours Public Response Unit of HCI (High Commission of India) ASAP (as soon as possible) at 020 7632 3035,” the Indian High Commission here tweeted.
“We’ll activate more helplines shortly to be of further assistance to families and friends of those affected by attack,” it said.
In March, a British-born convert to Islam ploughed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing to death a police officer who was on the grounds of parliament. He was shot dead at the scene.