Suicide bomber identified, man arrested in connection to Manchester bombing

MANCHESTER (KUSI) — The suspect in a suicide bombing attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester was identified Tuesday as Salman Abedi, according to a United States official. 

A 23-year-old man who has yet to be identified was also arrested in connection to the attack that killed 22 people, including an 8-year-old girl, and injured at least 59 others. No other details on Abedi were made available.

Early Tuesday morning, the Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack, but the group’s involvement had not been confirmed.

The explosion occurred outside the 20,000-seat Manchester Arena, as guests attending a concert inside were exiting. Witnesses described seeing screws and nails scattered across the floor after the explosion. 

The youngest person reported killed in the bombing was an eight-year-old girl. The pop music of singer Ariana Grande, who was once a Disney Channel star, caters to a younger audience and many in attendance were teenagers and children.

“All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but 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.

Related Link: 22 killed, 59 injured following explosion at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

President Donald Trump expressed his solidarity with and condemned the “evil losers” behind the attack.

“So many young beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life,” Trump said. “I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them, from now on, losers, because that’s what they are. They are losers. And we will have more of them. But they are losers, just remember that.”

Trump was in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, continuing his first foreign trip as President at the time of the remarks. He delivered the statement alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham scheduled a vigil Tuesday night to honor those affected by the attack, Grand Mancheser police said.

“Whilst the area around Manchester Arena is still cordoned off, we want to remind people that Manchester will not be defeated,” Grand Manchester police said.  

The identities of those killed in the attack began to be released Tuesday:

Georgina Callender — An 18-year-old health and social care student at a college in Lancashire.

Saffie Rose Roussos — An 8-year-old guest at the concert. Her teacher, Chris Upton described her to The Guardian as, “simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word.”

John Atkinson — Several of John’s friends describe the 26-year-old on social media as "a beautiful soul." 

This list will continue to be updated as identities are released. 

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