UK raises threat to ‘critical’ after Manchester attack; Army out

Image credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images/Wam

LONDON 25 May 2017: The United Kingdom has increased its security threat level to “critical” from “severe” following the attack in Manchester that killed 22 people, including children, according to Reuters.

UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, said that members of the armed forces would boost security at key sites and military personnel might be deployed at public events such as concerts and sports events.

“It is now concluded on the basis of today’s investigations that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical. This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent.” she added.

UAE condoles UK

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable of condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom following the terrorist attack that took place at the Manchester Arena in northern England late on Monday, killing 22 people and injuring 50 others.

In the cable, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa expressed his sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen, her government, and families of the victims of the attack.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent cables of condolences to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II.

UAE condemns terror blast in Manchester

The United Arab Emirates has condemned the terrorist attack that took place outside the Manchester Arena in northern England late on Monday.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation emphasised the UAE’s unwavering stance that rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

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The statement called for intensified and concerted efforts of the international community to ensure the eradication of the serious scourge of terrorism that is contrary to all moral and humanitarian values.

At the end of its statement, the ministry stressed the UAE’s support for the British Government in the face of terrorism, and expressed its sincere condolences and solace to the British Government, people, and families of the victims of the criminal incident. The ministry also wished for a quick recovery for the injured.

UAE citizens in Manchester safe: UAE Embassy

The UAE Embassy in London has confirmed that the UAE citizens in Manchester are safe, following a terrorist attack that targeted a concert at the city’s arena.

In a statement, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom Sulaiman Hamed Al Mazrouei said that all Emirati citizens in the city of Manchester are safe and secure. He added that a team from the embassy and its attache offices were following up the developments to ensure that all the UAE’s nationals are safe.

The citizens were urged to immediately contact the embassy for any emergency services.

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Landmark buildings lit up with British flag

A number of landmark buildings in Abu Dhabi have been illuminated with the colours of the Union Jack flag, in solidarity with the city of Manchester, following the terrorist attack there.

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The initiative emanates from the UAE’s solidarity and from its firm position in rejection of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations.

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Iconic buildings lit up in solidarity with Manchester include the Emirates Palace, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi Global Market, the Marina Mall, the Galleria Mall, the Capital Gate, Adnoc, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

Death toll in Manchester Arena bombing rises to 22

It has been confirmed that 22 people are now known to have died, many of them children and juveniles, following a suspected terror attack at the Manchester Arena last night. At least 59 others were hurt in the blast and are being treated across the city for a variety of injuries.

The blast took place at 22.35 p.m. local time on Monday following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.

Emergency services personnel speak to people outside Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday, May 22, 2017. The singer was not injured, according to a representative. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) Wam
Emergency services personnel speak to people outside Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday, May 22, 2017. The singer was not injured, according to a representative. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) Wam

Manchester police say that a man set off an improvised explosive device, IED, at the concert, dying in the attack. The Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Ian Hopkins, had earlier said that police were treating the explosion as a terrorist incident ‘until they know otherwise’.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that her thoughts were with those affected by “what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack”. She has announced that she will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee.

A spokesperson for the 21,000-capacity venue’s management said that the explosion took place just outside the main arena as people, many of them children and teenagers, were leaving the concert. If confirmed as a terrorist attack, it will be the deadliest in Britain since the 2005 bombings of the London Transport Underground and bus system, in which 56 people were killed.

 

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By Rajive Singh