ISIS claims responsibility for bombing in Manchester

Courtesy of ABC NEWS
Photo Courtesy of ABC NEWS

UPDATE: BEIRUT (AP) – Islamic State group says one of its members carried out the Manchester attack that killed 22 people.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

(ABC NEWS)/ (AP)- ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday that killed 22 people and injured 59 others.

In a statement translated from Arabic, ISIS said that a soldier of the caliphate placed explosives among a gathering of crusaders — meaning Christians — at the Manchester Arena. The statement said about 30 were killed and about 70 were wounded.

The man believed to be the lone attacker died at the scene after using an improved explosive device, officials said, but police are still determining if the attacker acted alone or as part of a wider group, said United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May.

Greater Manchester Police said a 23-year-old man has been arrested in South Manchester in connection with the attack.

Monday’s incident is being treated as a terror attack and May said the threat level remains at “severe,” meaning the government considers another terror attack highly likely. Severe is level 4 out of 5, with critical being the highest.

May said police believe they know the identity of the suspect but at this stage they cannot confirm his name.

“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherished but as an opportunity for carnage,” May said Tuesday.

Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the Manchester Arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. The explosion happened near the arena’s foyer after the concert finished, according to witnesses, who reported hearing a loud bang as they exited the arena.

The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, according to its website. The concert arena is connected to the Manchester Victoria Station, the city’s second-largest train station.

ABC News’ Lena Masri contributed to this report.

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