Manchester Arena attack: Suicide bomber had links with city's Islamic State cell, says report

London: Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi had links to an Islamic State cell which operated in the city, and knew one of the terror group's most prolific recruiters, Sky News claimed on Wednesday.

Information in the 'IS Files' — a huge cache of documents obtained by Sky News — shows Islamic State fighter called Raphael Hostey, from Moss Side in the south of Manchester, sponsored hundreds of terror recruits.

 Manchester Arena attack: Suicide bomber had links with citys Islamic State cell, says report

Mounted police officers wait outside the townhall in Manchester. Reuters

Abedi and Hostey reportedly hung around on the same estates and worshipped in the same Didsbury mosque, before they became disaffected with life in the West.

Counter-terrorism sources have told that they have established a "significant" connection between the two men as they investigate the murder of 22 concert-goers and search for possible accomplices, Sky News reported.

The suspect, Manchester-born Abedi, went to school locally and then studied business management at Salford University, before dropping out from the course.

Meanwhile, a woman, whose identify was not immediately known, became the sixth person to be arrested by police in connection with the Monday night's attack at a pop concert, the deadliest terror attack in Britain since the 2005 London bombings, as police said they were investigating a "network".

Police said they had arrested a woman after an armed raid at a block of flats in Blackley, north Manchester.

"A woman has been arrested at an address in connection with the investigation," the Greater Manchester Police said on Wednesday.

The Monday night's attack at a concert by US actress-singer Ariana Grande killed 22 people, all of whom have now been identified by police but their names will be released during the course of this week after formal identifications are complete.

The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said on Wednesday that as many as 119 people had been injured in the attack, 64 of whom remain hospitalised, 20 of them critically.

Updated Date: May 25, 2017 09:01:09 IST