NATIONAL: 22 confirmed dead in Manchester bomb blast

Twenty two people are dead and dozens injured after a terrorist bombing branded a 'barbaric attack' tore through young music fans at a concert in Manchester.

Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 8:23 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:51 pm
Manchester bombing

Children are confirmed to be among those killed and wounded in the blast at the Manchester Arena which police are treating as a 'terrorist incident'.

Condemning the atrocity, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: 'This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society - young people and children out at a pop concert.'

She added: 'The great city of Manchester has been affected by terrorism before. Its spirit was not bowed; its community continued.

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Ambulance crews at the scene

'This time it has been a particular attack on the most vulnerable in our society - its intention was to sow fear - its intention is to divide. But it will not succeed.'

Police have not said what caused or who was behind the atrocity, although unconfirmed reports have suggested it was carried out by a suspected suicide bomber.

Witnesses reported hearing a 'huge bomb-like bang' at around 10.30pm last night, as fans were leaving the arena shortly after a show by Ariana Grande finished, and described glass and metal nuts on the floor.

The Prime Minister has condemned the 'appalling' incident and General Election campaigning has been suspended.

Ambulance crews at the scene

Downing Street said a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee is expected to take place at around 9am on Tuesday morning chaired by Theresa May.

Grande, the US singer who finished performing minutes before the blast, said she had been left 'broken' by the events.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said they are treating the blast as a 'terrorist incident until we have further information'.

If confirmed as terrorism it would be the worst attack in the UK since 56 people were killed in the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

An emergency number was established for those concerned about loved ones - 0161 856 9400.