Ter­ror­ism aftermath

Manch­ester Po­lice iden­tify the bomber as Sal­man Abedi, 22, who author­i­ties say died in the at­tack

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page -

Eng­land re­cov­er­ing from Ari­ana Grande con­cert bomb­ing.

As in­ves­ti­ga­tors hunted for pos­si­ble ac­com­plices of a sui­cide bomber, thou­sands of peo­ple poured into the streets of Manch­ester in a vigil Tues­day for vic­tims of a blast that bathed a pop con­cert in blood - the lat­est ap­par­ent bat­tlescarred tar­get of Is­lamic ex­trem­ists seek­ing to rat­tle daily life in the West.

The at­tack left at least 22 dead, in­clud­ing an eight-yearold girl, shat­ter­ing the rev­elry at the close of a show by Amer­i­can singer Ari­ana Grande, where strains of elec­tric pop and the sways of in­no­cent young fans quickly gave way to an ex­plo­sion, a flood of screams and a stam­pede of pan­icked con­cert­go­ers, many clutch­ing pink bal­loons and wear­ing the kit­ten-ear head­bands pop­u­lar­ized by Grande.

Touch­ing on that dis­con­nect, Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said: “We strug­gle to com­pre­hend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young chil­dren not as a scene to cher­ish but as an op­por­tu­nity for car­nage.”

The Is­lamic State group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the hor­ror, which also wounded 59 peo­ple, though a top Amer­i­can in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial said the as­ser­tion could not be ver­i­fied.

Manch­ester Po­lice Chief Ian Hop­kins iden­ti­fied the bomber as 22-year-old Sal­man Abedi, who author­i­ties said died in the at­tack. Po­lice raided two sites in the north­ern English city, set­ting off a con­trolled ex­plo­sion in one, and ar­rest­ing a 23-yearold man in a third lo­ca­tion.

Abedi was iden­ti­fied as a Bri­tish cit­i­zen of Libyan de­scent by a Euro­pean se­cu­rity of­fi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not au­tho­rized to com­ment on on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions. There was no in­for­ma­tion re­leased on the man who was ar­rested.

At least 20 heav­ily armed, hel­meted po­lice sur­rounded a mod­est red brick house listed as Abedi’s ad­dress in a mixed Manch­ester sub­urb at mid­day on Tues­day and blasted down the door.

“It was so quick. Th­ese cars just pulled up and all th­ese po­lice with guns, dogs, jumped out of the car and said to us: ‘Get in the house now,”’ said Si­mon Turner, 46, who lives nearby. Later, foren­sic of­fi­cers in white cov­er­alls were seen go­ing in and out of the prop­erty.

Late Tues­day, thou­sands of peo­ple, some hold­ing up signs pro­claim­ing “I Love MCR” - an ab­bre­vi­a­tion for Manch­ester held a mo­ment of si­lence at a vigil for the vic­tims.

Lord Mayor Eddy Newman and the city’s po­lice chief were among the speak­ers in front of City Hall in Al­bert Square. A ban­ner with a web­site for a Mus­lim group said “Love for all, Ha­tred for None.”

Among those con­firmed killed was Ge­orgina Cal­lan­der, whose death was re­ported by her former school, which posted a photo of her in her school uni­form on its web­site and de­scribed her as a “lovely” and “very pop­u­lar” young woman. Also killed was eight-year-old Saffie Rous­sos, who a teacher called “sim­ply a beau­ti­ful lit­tle girl in ev­ery as­pect of the word” who was warm, kind, “and unas­sum­ing, with a cre­ative flair.”

Be­sides the dead, the wounded in­cluded at least 12 chil­dren un­der the age of 16, hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials said.

Grande, who was not in­jured in the blast, tweeted: “bro­ken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

The bomb­ing took place af­ter Grande closed the show with “Dan­ger­ous Woman” and left the stage and the au­di­ence streamed to­ward the city’s main train sta­tion. It scat­tered bolts and other metal scraps, ap­par­ently in­tended to max­i­mize the blood­shed. Peo­ple tum­bled over guardrails and one another claw­ing to­ward an es­cape.

“There was this mas­sive bang. And then ev­ery­one just went re­ally quiet. And that’s when the scream­ing started,” said 25-year-old Ryan Mol­loy. “As we came out­side to Vic­to­ria Sta­tion, there were just peo­ple all over the floor cov­ered in blood.”

The at­tack sparked a night­long search for loved-ones par­ents for the chil­dren they had ac­com­pa­nied or had been wait­ing to pick up, and friends for each other af­ter groups were scat­tered by the blast. Twit­ter and Face­book lit up with heart­break­ing ap­peals for the miss­ing.

“I’ve called the hos­pi­tals. I’ve called all the places, the ho­tels where peo­ple said that chil­dren have been taken and I’ve called the po­lice,” Char­lotte Camp­bell tear­fully told ITV tele­vi­sion’s Good Morn­ing Bri­tain breakfast show. Camp­bell’s 15-year-old daugh­ter, Olivia, had at­tended the show with a friend who was wounded and be­ing treated in a hos­pi­tal.

“She’s not turned up,” Camp­bell said of her daugh­ter. “We can’t get through to her.”

Hayley Lunt, who brought her 10-year-old daugh­ter Abi­gail to the show, her very first con­cert, said they ran as fast as they could once the ex­plo­sions rang out.

“What should have been a su­perb even­ing,” Lunt said, “is now just hor­ri­ble.”


Peo­ple cry af­ter a vigil in Al­bert Square, Manch­ester, Eng­land, on Tues­day, the day af­ter the sui­cide at­tack at an Ari­ana Grande con­cert that left 22 peo­ple dead.


Ac­tress Karen David, right, hugs Manch­ester con­cert bomb­ing vic­tim Ge­orgina Cal­lan­der in this photo posted on Face­book.

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