Authorities in Britain say at at least 22 people, many believed to be children, were killed and more than 50 were injured in a suicide bombing that rocked Manchester Arena after American pop star Ariana Grande played a sold-out concert.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the carnage. Police identified the bomber Tuesday as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. His parents were Libyan refugees who immigrated to Britain, The Telegraph reported.
"The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network," Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said at a Tuesday press conference.
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"This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives," British Prime Minister Theresa May said following the bombing.
Frantic relatives took to social media seeking word of their loved ones, many of whom were unaccounted for in the tense hours following the blast.
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Video from inside the concert hall showed screaming, running fans heading for the exits and streaming into nearby Victoria Station.
Grande herself expressed complete shock following the tragedy.
"Broken. From the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words," tweeted the singer, who has suspended her tour indefinitely.
President Trump also reacted to the attack, calling on leaders around the world to act against "loser" terrorists.
“The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever," Trump said following a meeting with leaders of the Palestinian Authority. "This wicked ideology must be obliterated, and I mean completely obliterated.
"I will call them from now on losers, because that’s what they are... They’re losers. And we’ll have more of them. But they’re losers. Just remember that."
The Manchester Arena is Britain's largest indoor venue and holds 21,000 people. Manchester is the country's second-largest city.
NEW: video from inside the Ariana concert in Manchester when the explosion took place. pic.twitter.com/7vu4ATEzpP
— The Rouser (@RouserNews) May 23, 2017
Most of the concertgoers were kids, teens and parents.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 22, 2017
A father described seeing “carnage everywhere” to the BBC. He said he was blown about “30 feet” as he tried to find his wife and daughter. “When I got up and looked around, there were people scattered everywhere, some of them looked dead, they might have been unconscious but there were a lot of fatalities,” said the dad, who gave his name as Andy Holey.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 23, 2017
He later found his wife and daughter outside the arena and took both back to their hotel, he said.
Police cordoned off the area and warned citizens to stay away.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) May 23, 2017
Witnesses described seeing people covered in blood and widespread confusion and panic.
"Everyone was screaming and running. There were coats and people's phones on the floor. People just dropped everything," Robert Tempkin, 22, told the BBC.
Josh Elliott told BBC Radio 5 Live he heard a bang, "and everyone stopped dead and screamed, we basically hit the deck. It was bedlam, it was horrific," he said. "People were just crying and in tears, police cars were everywhere."