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Bombing at British Concert Kills 22, Injures Dozens


A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester, Britain, May 23, 2017.

A suicide bomber killed at least 22 people in an attack at a concert in the northern English city of Manchester.

More than 50 others were injured.

The attack happened Monday night at Manchester Arena, at the end of a performance by American pop star Ariana Grande. The explosion sent people scrambling to get out of the arena, which can hold up to 21,000 people.

Concert goers react after fleeing the Manchester Arena in northern England where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, Britain, May 22, 2017.
Concert goers react after fleeing the Manchester Arena in northern England where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, Britain, May 22, 2017.

British police identified the attacker as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. They said he was killed in the explosion. Abedi was reportedly a British citizen whose parents came from Libya.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying one of its members carried out the attack. But United States and British officials could not confirm the claim.

The Islamic State said an attacker had prepared several bombs. But Manchester police said they believed only one bomber had used an improvised explosive device in the attack.

Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said officials were investigating whether the attacker acted alone or worked together with others.

Forensic officers investigate the scene near the Manchester Arena, Manchester, England, May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night.
Forensic officers investigate the scene near the Manchester Arena, Manchester, England, May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night.

On Tuesday, police carried out raids in different parts of Manchester, including the building where the suspect lived. A 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the attack. Police had no immediate comment on his suspected involvement.

An eight-year-old girl was among those killed. An emergency medical official told the Associated Press that 12 children under the age of 16 were among the injured.

Witnesses said the explosion sent bolts and other pieces of metal into the air. They said this showed the device was built to hurt and kill many.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack an act of "sickening cowardice" meant to target "defenseless children and young people."

Women wait to take part in a vigil for the victims of an attack on concert goers at Manchester Arena, in central Manchester, Britain, May 23, 2017.
Women wait to take part in a vigil for the victims of an attack on concert goers at Manchester Arena, in central Manchester, Britain, May 23, 2017.

May went to Manchester and visited police headquarters and a children's hospital. She and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, agreed to suspend campaigning for the June 8 elections.

Thousands of people gathered in the city Tuesday to remember the victims. They observed a minute of silence.

Grande, who was not injured in the blast, spoke about the attack on Twitter. “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words,” she tweeted.

Manchester Arena officials canceled planned shows by the pop group Take That. It was supposed to perform at the arena from Thursday through Saturday.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn adapted this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from VOA News, the Associated Press and Reuters. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

concert – n. a music show or performance

scrambling v. moving or acting quickly

improvised – adj. made from whatever materials are available

bolt n. small piece of metal used for putting together pieces of wood or metal

cowardicen. behavior showing someone is not brave

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