Whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he or she is triggering a genocide; and whoso saves a life, it shall be as if he or she had given life to all mankind. And Our Messengers came to them with clear Signs, yet even after that, many of them commit excesses in the land. (Al Quran 5:32/33)
Twenty-two people, including an eight-year-old girl, have been killed and 59 injured in a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena, at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.
A man set off a homemade bomb in the foyer at 22:33 BST on Monday, in what Theresa May called a “sickening” act.
Armed police have arrested a 23-year-old man in Chorlton, south Manchester, in connection with the attack.
Saffie Rose Roussos, 8, was a pupil at Tarleton Primary School, in Lancashire.
Student Georgina Callendar, believed to have been 18, has also been named as among the dead.
In a statement in Downing Street, the prime minister said it was “now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack” that targeted “defenceless young people”.
She said the security services believe they know the attacker’s identity but are not yet able to confirm it.
It is the worst terrorist attack in the UK since the 7 July bombings in 2005 in which 52 people were killed by four suicide bombers.
So-called Islamic State has said it was behind the attack, via IS channels on the messaging app Telegram.
- Manchester explosion: Latest updates
- Eyewitnesses tell of blast horror
- Confusion and chaos after explosion
Greater Manchester Police has established an emergency telephone number in response to the attack. It is: 0161 856 9400.
The prime minister has suspended her general election campaigning and will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee later, in response to the attack.
Mrs May said: “We are working to establish the full details” of what had happened in Manchester.
“All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected,” Mrs May said.
BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Daniel Sandford said senior counter-terrorism officers were assembling in London and liaising with the Home Office.
Unconfirmed reports from two unnamed US officials suggested the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
The BBC’s Tim Ashburner, who is at the scene, spoke to some volunteer paramedics who treated the injured for “shrapnel-like injuries”.