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Manchester concert explosion: what we know so far

This incident is still unfolding. We will continue to update this post as we get more information.

Emergency services arrive close to the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed this evening. Greater Manchester Police have have confirmed there a
Emergency services arrive close to the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed this evening. Greater Manchester Police have have confirmed there are fatalities and warned people to stay away from the area.
Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Around 10:33 pm local time on Monday, a “huge bang” was heard outside a concert hall in Manchester, England, where American pop star Ariana Grande was concluding her concert. Police have confirmed a number of fatalities and injuries.

According to British Prime Minister Theresa May, the people in Manchester fell victim to “a callous terrorist attack.” ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack (although that claim is unverified), and the police say it was carried out by Salman Abedi who died during the assault. There also was an arrest of a young man in connection with the attack in South Manchester.

Here's a running tally of what we do and don't know about last night’s events in Manchester. We will continue to update this post as we learn more information.

What we know about the attack

  • Greater Manchester Police confirms 22 people were killed and and 59 were injured from the explosion. Concertgoers reported hearing a loud bang, which sparked chaos inside the Manchester Arena concert hall.
  • The attacker’s name was Salman Abedi.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, saying “a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings.” However, that does not mean ISIS actually planned or coordinated the attack. The group is known for taking responsibility for attacks that fit its agenda but that were not planned or carried out by the group directly. And ISIS’s short statement was short and generic, didn’t identify the bomber, and got some details of the attack wrong.
  • Greater Manchester Police believes the attack was conducted by one man using an improvised explosive device. Authorities say he died during the attack.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May said “it is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack...among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the United Kingdom.”
  • In a statement, President Donald Trump said the attack was carried out by “evil losers.” He also sent his “absolute solidarity” with the United Kingdom after a “very horrible morning of death.”
  • The Greater Manchester Police arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester “with regards to last night’s incident at the Manchester arena.”
  • Two victims have been named: 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and 18-year-old Georgina Callendar.
  • Joseph Carozza, a representative from Grande's US record label, said the singer is okay and they are investigating what happened, according to NBC News. On Twitter, the singer said she was “so so sorry” for what happened.
  • The Wall Street Journal notes that the explosion occurred “within the foyer area” of the Manchester Arena, one of the largest indoor stadiums in Europe.
  • The BBC says a controlled explosion near the Manchester Arena of a suspicious item ended up being abandoned clothing.
  • The BBC reports that the concertgoers were mostly young people, which makes sense since the performer at Manchester Arena was Ariana Grande.
  • Facebook has activated its safety check for people who are at or near the arena to let family and friends know they are safe.
  • Emergency services are on the scene and have asked people to avoid the area.
  • Britain’s leading parties said they would suspend campaigning for the June 8th election out of respect for the victims, notes the New York Times.
  • Some concertgoers are still missing, including an 8-year-old, reports CBS.

What we don’t know about the attack

  • The identities of all the victims
  • The attacker’s motives for carrying out the attack
  • Whether ISIS was directly involved in planning or executing the attack, or merely may have “inspired” the attack

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