AS IT HAPPENED: World leaders react to Manchester 'terrorist' attack

23 May 18:15

Here is what we know so far about the terror attack, the deadliest in Britain since 2005.

Police said they were called at 22:33 to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena during a concert by pop star Ariana Grande, who is popular with teenagers and pre-teens.

According to police, the blast occurred "within the foyer area of the stadium", although the venue said it was in a public area outside. Prime Minister Theresa May said it was near one of the arena exits.

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Manchester terror attack: What we know
23 May 17:33

The UK has been hit by a number of terror strikes the past few years. 

Police said they believed the Manchester attack, the deadliest on British soil in 12 years, was carried out by one man who had died at the scene.

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Terror attacks in the UK
23 May 17:04

World leaders expressed shock and horror on Tuesday after the suicide bombing in Manchester which killed at least 22 people, including children. Here are some of the reactions:

Britain

British Prime Minister Theresa May called it an "appalling terrorist attack" and suspended her campaign ahead of a general election on June 8, as did the chief opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected," May said.

Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: "Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services."

United States

US President Donald Trump condemned the "evil losers" behind the attack, saying: "I won't call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that's a great name.

"So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered," he said.

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced "sorrow and horror", adding: "This suspected terrorist attack will only strengthen our resolve to work with our British friends against those who plan and execute such inhuman acts. I assure the people in Britain: Germany stands by your side."

Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to increase anti-terror cooperation with Britain after "this cynical, inhuman crime".

"We expect that those behind it will not escape the punishment they deserve," he said.

France

French President Emmanuel Macron voiced "horror and shock" and said he planned to speak to the British prime minister.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said it was an example of "the most cowardly terrorism" that was aimed "specifically and knowingly" at young people.

Australia

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the attack was "especially vile, especially criminal, especially horrific because it appears to have been deliberately directed at teenagers".

He added: "This is an attack on innocents. Surely there is no crime more reprehensible than the murder of children. This is a direct and brutal attack on young people everywhere, on freedom everywhere."

United Nations

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres expressed "his deep sympathy and solidarity to the people and government of the United Kingdom" and said he hoped "that those responsible for this unjustifiable violence will be swiftly brought to justice".

Vatican

Pope Francis said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester," and said he sought "God's blessings of peace, healing, and strength upon the nation".

The Netherlands

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: "Terrible news from Manchester where a great evening ended in tragedy. Our thoughts are with the victims."

Spain

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said: "I condemn the Manchester attack. My condolences to the families of the deceased and my fervent wishes that the wounded recover soon."

Italy

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni tweeted: "Italy joins forces with the British people and government. Our thoughts go out to the victims of the Manchester attack and their families."

Denmark

Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said: "Horrendous loss of innocent lives in #Manchester. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the British people."

Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "Canadians are shocked by the news of the horrific attack in Manchester tonight. Please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts."

Greece 

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said: "We express our solidarity to the British people and our support to the relatives of the victims. We are on your side."

Israel 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government "strongly condemns the terrible terror attack".

"Terror is a global threat and the enlightened countries must act together to defeat it in any place," he said.

China

President Xi Jinping sent his condolences to Queen Elizabeth II, expressing "deep grief for the victims" and their families.

Turkey 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "I firmly condemn the terrorist attack," adding that he shared "the pain of the British people."

Switzerland 

President Doris Leuthard tweeted: "The fact that the target should once again be people wanting to enjoy a night out at a concert is appalling."

23 May 16:11

Pop group Take That says it is canceling its show in Liverpool, northern England a day after the deadly bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

The band says it is postponing the performance "out of respect to all of the people and their families that were affected by the horrific incident last night."

The band was scheduled to play at Manchester Arena, the site of Monday's attack, from Thursday to Saturday. Their representatives say there is no official word yet on whether those shows will go ahead.

23 May 15:51

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 on Tuesday.

Lancashire County Council, in northwest England, named her as Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland, near Preston. The headteacher of Tarleton Community Primary School said their pupil Saffie's death "has come as a tremendous shock to all of us".

"Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word," Chris Upton said, adding her "warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly".

Saffie is the second victim to be named in the attack on Manchester Arena where US pop star Ariana Grande had been performing.

Georgina Callander from Lancashire was also killed in the attack, Runshaw College Sixth Form Centre confirmed on its Facebook page.

She was believed to be 18, and was studying health and social care. The so-called ISIS group claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded 59 people, many of whom are still being treated for "life-threatening conditions" according to Prime Minister Theresa May.

23 May 15:18

UEFA: 'No specific intelligence' of risk to Europa final

After a deadly bombing on a concert in Manchester, Europa League organizer UEFA said it has no "specific intelligence" that the final featuring Manchester United will be a target.

United plays Ajax in the final on Wednesday evening in Stockholm, and security was already intensified following a deadly truck attack in Sweden's capital city last month.

"The terrorist risk had been taken into account since the very beginning of the project," UEFA said on Tuesday, noting it has worked with Swedish authorities "for many months" to plan for the game.

The UEFA statement added "there is currently no specific intelligence which might suggest that any of the UEFA Europa League Final activities in Stockholm may be the target of attacks."

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23 May 15:13

Little movement on JSE as Manchester attack dampens sentiment

The explosion at a rock concert in Manchester dampened sentiment on global markets on Tuesday, and the JSE was no exception.

At mid-morning major JSE indices were only marginally higher, but this was enough to move the All-share index and the Industrial index to new 52-week intraday highs.

The All-share index was at that stage only 0.21% higher at 54 633 points, 116 up on the previous 52-week high of 54 517 points.

The index however still has a long way to go to reach the all-time high of 55 188 points reached in April 2015.The Top 40 index gained 0.25% to 48 125 points, still 315 points lower than the 52-week high of 48 488 points.

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23 May 15:12

South Africans express shock, sadness, following Manchester bombing

South Africans on social media expressed shock and sadness following the killing of 22 people in a suicide bombing in Manchester, UK, on Monday evening.

Fifty-nine people were injured.

Writer Ryan Cummings? (@Pol_Sec_Analyst) tweeted: "Waking up to news of the bomb attack in Manchester. The thought that someone would purposely targeted an event filled with kids is surreal."

Nadia van der Merwe (@nadz4444) wrote: "It is a sick, mad world filled with sick, mad people. My heart bleeds."

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23 May 14:01

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for bombing a pop concert in the British city of Manchester and killing 22 people, including children, AP reports.

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.

The group's self-styled news agency Amaq separately claimed "a security squad" carried out the attack.

23 May 14:00
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