The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the Manchester suicide bombing that killed 22 people – including children – in an explosion that tore through fans leaving an Ariana Grande pop concert in Manchester.
As the first arrest was made in connection with the attack, Prime Minister Theresa May disclosed that the authorities believe they know the identity of the man who carried out the atrocity.
Unconfirmed reports from CBS News in America identified 23-year-old Salman Abedi as a suspect in the bombing.
Mrs May said “many” children were among the dead and 59 injured in the bombing at the Manchester Arena on Monday night as thousands of young people streamed from the venue.
Her statement came moments before police disclosed that a 23-year-old man was arrested in South Manchester on Tuesday morning in connection with the bombing.
Meanwhile, police confirmed that a controlled explosion had been carried out in connection with the attack at an address in the Fallowfield area of the city.
The first confirmed fatality was 18-year-old sixth form student Georgina Callender, an Ariana Grande “superfan” from Lancashire who met her idol in 2015 and was excited to see her on stage last night.
An eight-year-old girl, Saffie Rose Roussos, was also confirmed as having been killed after becoming separated from her mother and sister.
Meanwhile, relatives of at least 13 people missing after the attack – including an eight-year-old girl – have launched frantic searches for their loved-ones.
Victims earlier told how an improvised explosive device carried by the attacker caused them to be thrown by the blast, which scattered nuts and bolts across the floor of the foyer area.
It is the worst terror attack to hit Britain since the July 2005 suicide bomb attacks in central London in which 52 people were killed and came four years to the day Lee Rigby was murdered by Islamist extremists.
Mrs May said that the attacker deliberately chose the place where he could cause “maximum carnage” when he detonated the bomb.
Speaking outside Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee, Mrs May condemned the “cowardice” of the attacker and hailed those who rushed to help, who had shown “the spirit of Britain … a spirit that through years of conflict and terrorism has never been broken and will never be broken”.
She vowed: “The terrorists will never win and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail.”