Manchester Arena terror attack: Islamic State claims credit, US officials identify attacker as Salman Abedi

The Islamic State says one of its members carried out the Manchester attack that killed nearly two dozen people, according to media reports. US officials say they have identified the attacker as Salman Abedi.

 Manchester Arena terror attack: Islamic State claims credit, US officials identify attacker as Salman Abedi

UK police investigate the Manchester blast. AP

Islamic State says "a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings" then detonated them. It did not say whether the attacker was killed.

The group claimed that "30 Crusaders were killed and 70 others were wounded," higher than the totals confirmed by authorities in Manchester, according to the reports.

Twenty-two people, including children, were killed and dozens injured when a man detonated a bomb at a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande, in Britain's deadliest terror attack in 12 years.

Screaming fans, many of them teens, fled the venue in panic after the bomb blast at the end of the concert in the northern English city of Manchester on Monday evening.

"There was heat on my neck and when I looked up there were bodies everywhere", Elena Semino, who was waiting for her 17-year-old daughter, told The Guardian. Semino, who was herself injured, said she had been standing by the ticket office of the 21,000-capacity indoor Manchester Arena when the explosion went off.

"A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena", said Majid Khan, 22, who was at the show with his sister.

Ambulances and bomb disposal teams rushed to the venue, as family members frantically searched for their loved ones, and residents opened their doors to stranded concert-goers after trains were cancelled.

There were children among the 22 killed in the attack, while 59 people were injured, Greater Manchester Police chief Ian Hopkins said early Tuesday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "appalling terrorist attack" and suspended her campaign ahead of a general election on 8 June along with chief Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

May said that police and security staff in Manchester believe they know identity of the apparent suicide bomber, but they are not revealing the name for the time being.

Addressing the press in London, May said, "This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice."

With inputs from AP



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Updated Date: May 23, 2017 22:12:34 IST