In what British Prime Minister Theresa May called “an appalling terrorist attack,” a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including himself, and injured nearly 60 others after detonating an explosive on Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.
The explosion took place outside of the Manchester Arena at approximately 10:35 p.m. as concertgoers were exiting the venue, causing mass panic and a stampede to get away from the bomb. The death toll quickly climbed from 19 to 22, with the bomber suspected to be among the dead.
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY???? pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
Local police said they had teamed up with national authorities and intelligence agencies to investigate the incident. If confirmed as a terror attack, it would be the deadliest in over a decade. The last mass terror attack in Britain was in 2005, when a series of bombings in the London subway system left 52 dead.
Ian Hopkins, chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, said that police believe the attack was carried out by a single assailant with an improvised explosive. Senior British officials said that they have tentatively identified the terrorist.
Hopkins also said that children had been among those killed.
US President Donald Trump expressed deep condolences from Israel, where he is visiting on his first foreign tour, proclaiming, “We stand in absolute solidarity with the UK.”
He called terrorists “evil losers”, refraining from labeling them monsters because “they would like that term.” He also related the incident to his Middle East trip, stating, “This is what I’ve spent these last few days talking about during my trip overseas. Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed. We cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people.
“The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever. this wicked ideology must be obliterated.”
— CNN (@CNN) May 23, 2017