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Islamic State claims responsibility for Manchester attack

Armed police officers stand next to a police cordon outside the Manchester Arena. Photograph: (Reuters)

AFP London, United Kingdom May 23, 2017, 12.02 PM (IST)

The Islamic State group today claimed responsibility for Tuesday bombing of a pop concert in the British city of Manchester which killed 22 people and injured at least 59 others.

The group said in a statement published on its social media channels that "one of the caliphate's soldiers placed bombs among the crowds," and threatened more attacks.

An eight-year-old girl was among the 22 people killed in the bomb attack on a packed Manchester pop concert late Monday, a local authority said Tuesday.

Lancashire County Council, in north-west England, named her as Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland, near Preston.

Meanwhile, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on worldwide threats on Capitol Hill said he did still hadn't verified ISIS connection to the Manchester attack.

"I might mention that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Manchester although they claim responsibility for virtually every attack. We have not verified yet the connection," Dan Coats told a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, using an acronym for Islamic State.

On Monday evening screaming fans, many of them teenagers, fled the Manchester Arena in panic after the explosion at the end of a sold-out concert by US star Ariana Grande in the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, in northwestern England.

UK police arrested a 23-year-old man on Tuesday morning in connection with the attack.

Witnesses reported being near the arena's ticket machines and merchandise stores, as chaos ensued inside the concert hall.

While 22 people have been confirmed dead, many of the 59 people injured have life-threatening conditions

Also Read: UK police know identity of Manchester attacker: PM Theresa May

(AFP)

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