ISIS claims responsibility for Manchester bombing; but police say there’s no proof

Manchester, England — At least 22 people, including children, have been killed in a blast at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in the deadliest terror attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings.

A powerful explosion shook part of the cavernous Manchester Arena late Monday as concertgoers streamed out following the American pop star’s last song.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack but offered no evidence to support its claim.

An 8-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman have been named as the first victims of the attack, which has drawn condemnation and horror from around the world as a heinous assault targeting children.

Police believe a man carrying explosives acted as a lone attacker and died in the blast, and they are now trying to determine if he may have been part of a wider network. A 23-year-old man was arrested Tuesday in south Manchester in connection with the bombing.

Key developments

  • Police have carried out two raids in Manchester.
  • Queen Elizabeth II described bombing as ‘act of barbarity’.
  • 59 people injured, some in life-threatening situations.
  • US President Donald Trump slams attackers as ‘losers’.
  • Ariana Grande tweets that the incident has left her ‘broken’.
  • British Prime Minister says police have identified the suspect.

ISIS said on its Telegram channel Tuesday that a “soldier of the caliphate” was able to “plant explosive devices” at the arena, a US counter-terrorism source told CNN.

But police have not said who was responsible for the bombing and ISIS routinely claims attacks it has no proven links with.

Video from inside the arena showed girls screaming as they scrambled over chairs and railings to escape the 21,000-seat venue, while photographs showed bodies laying bloodied on the floor.

Speaking after an emergency Cabinet meeting, British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack as “callous” and “cowardly.”

May said police had identified the suspected attacker, though she did not reveal his name.

“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage,” May said in London, before leaving for Manchester.