Sigh, I’m really unhappy that news stories like these are ones that keep appearing. Yesterday, on a lovely Monday evening in Manchester, the biggest terrorist attack since July 2005 happened at an Ariana Grande concert at the MEN Arena. We know the attacker died, but so did 22 people and 59 people got hurt.
I haven’t said much about it yet because we are still not sure about the events, or the culprit, or the 23-year-old man arrested in connection to the attack.
This is what we do know:
- Shortly after Ariana Grande left the stage, an explosion was audibly heard from the stands.
- The explosion came from the foyer area of the arena. This explosion has killed 22 people and injured 59 others.
- The culprit was a lone male, and he died in the explosion. He’s been named by the Greater Manchester Police as Salman Abedi. He was 22, and of Libyan origin.
- The bomb used was homemade and contained nuts and bolts.
- Police and Ambulance response evacuated the arena within minutes.
- Hotels in the area sheltered those affected overnight.
- Police have raided several properties in connection with this incident.
- Daesh (known to English-speakers as ISIS) have claimed responsibility, but we still don’t know if they actually were behind the attack.
- The youngest victim was eight years old.
My thoughts and prayers naturally go out to everyone affected by this incident. What I’m calling for now is unity. Terrorism by definition, creates division by means of mass panic and fear. But also, I’d like to make a point. I’m too young to remember the events properly, but when I was less than four years old, Manchester was hit by a terrorist attack by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The method was somewhat similar, but fortunately, despite the bomb going off, nobody was hurt. Manchester didn’t stop working, complaining about the weather or drinking their cups of tea. They carried on with their lives, and nobody panicked too much. They won’t do so now, or ever. Daesh or whoever was responsible literally picked the one city in the UK where people don’t panic. Armed with a coat because of the rain, a smile and a mantra of “It’ll be reet, our kid”, the Mancunians are the embodiment of Dunkirk Spirit. They will carry on, regardless.