Manchester terror attack: US Homeland Security closely monitoring situation in UK after blast at Ariana Grande concert

Washington: The US has said it was "closely monitoring" the situation at the Manchester Arena in the UK, where a terror attack claimed at least 19 lives, and working with other countries to obtain information about the incident.

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is closely monitoring the situation at Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom," an official statement here said.

"We are working with our foreign counterparts to obtain additional information about the cause of the reported explosion as well as the extent of injuries and fatalities," the DHS said.

A powerful blast ripped through the crowded arena hosting US star Ariana Grande's pop concert in Manchester, killing 19 people and injuring over 50 others, in one of the deadliest terror attacks in the UK.

 Manchester terror attack: US Homeland Security closely monitoring situation in UK after blast at Ariana Grande concert

Armed police officers stand outside the Manchester Arena. Reuters

The DHS said it stands ready to assist the UK in all ways necessary as the country investigates and recovers from the incident. The DHS also urged US citizens in the area to pay heed to the directions from the local authorities and maintain security awareness.

"At this time, we have no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States," the DHS said. "However, the public may experience increased security in and around public places and events as officials take additional precautions," it said.

Reacting to the news of the blast in Manchester, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, "Young and innocent lives lost in Manchester tonight. Praying for the victims and their families." "This apparent attack demands our strongest condemnation and fiercest unity. While many questions remain unanswered, we will never back down from our unshakable conviction that hatred cannot bow or break us," said the Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Tonight, the American people share the shock and sorrow of the apparent terror attack in Manchester, she said in a statement. "We are heartbroken by the loss of so many innocent young people, cut down after the joy of a concert. We send our prayers to the families of those killed, to those wounded, and to those still waiting for word from a loved one," she said.

"During this dark hour, the American people stand united with our ally and friend the United Kingdom. May it be a comfort to those grieving in Manchester tonight that so many around the world mourn in solidarity with them," Pelosi said.

Senator Tom Cotton, condemning the blast, said, "The atrocity in Manchester tonight was horrific. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We stand with the British people, and, like them, refuse to be bowed by heinous acts of terror."

House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer said there must be no doubt that those who instigated or facilitated this attack will face justice. "The people of the United Kingdom and the United States have suffered together through war and triumphed together over adversity to build a peace that is now under threat once more," he said.

"Together we will defeat terror and violence, and together we shall continue to shine the light of democracy across the world. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families tonight and with all the people of Manchester," Hoyer said.

"My thoughts are with Manchester tonight and the loved ones of those lost in this tragic event," tweeted Senator Tom Udall.

Updated Date: May 23, 2017 11:24:01 IST