Manchester Police Name Ariana Grande Concert Attacker
Manchester police have identified the bomber responsible for the attack on an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night (May 22) as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, according to CNN. The suicide bomber attack at the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena in England left at least 22 dead and 59 people injured at press time.
Before naming Abedi police revealed that a man carrying explosives acted alone and died in the attack, which took place in a foyer outside the venue just as Grande was wrapping up her concert. Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins named Abedi as the suspect, but said his identity had not yet been confirmed by a coroner and little was known about him at press time. Police are reportedly still looking for possible accomplices and according to The Hollywood Reporter they've conducted raids on two sites in Manchester, setting off a controlled explosion at one and arresting a 23-year-old man at a third location.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said in a telegram was carried out by a "soldier of the caliphate," but the terror group had not offered any evidence of its ties to the incident. The bombing was the deadliest attack in Britain since 52 people were killed on buses and commuter trains by four suicide bombers in July 2005.
So far, those named as the first victims of the attack include 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and 18-year-old Georgina Callander, who died in the hospital following the blast. Prior to the concert, Callander tweeted, "So excited to see u tomorrow" at Ariana Grande. Hospital officials said that the wounded included 12 children under the age of 16.
"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," Queen Elizabeth said in a statement. "I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all 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."
At press time Grande's team had not announced whether the remainder of her tour will be suspended. An emergency number has been set up and relatives have been using social media to search for missing relatives and children.