Manchester attack being treated as 'appalling,' 'callous': British PM Theresa May

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Calling it among the worst terrorist incidents in Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May said that she chaired an emergency Cobra meeting in which she discussed full details of Manchester attack which is being treated as an "appalling terrorist attack."

The Prime Minister said, "We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack. The police and security services are working at speed to establish the complete picture, but I want to tell you what I can at this stage."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and the families and friends of all those affected. It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester - and of this country - have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack - an attack that targetted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation," she added.

"Although it is not the first time Manchester has suffered in this way, it is the worst attack the city has experienced, and the worst ever to hit the North of England."

Cobra stands for Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms and consists of cross-departmental crisis committee that responds to national emergencies.

Sharing the details of the terror attack, she said, "A single terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately. The explosion coincided with the conclusion of a pop concert, which was attended by many young families and groups of children."

All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice - deliberately targeting innocent, defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives., she said.

In a defiant speech, the PM said those responsible for the attack would be brought to justice. "But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future, to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence, and if there turn out to be others responsible for this attack, to seek them out and bring them to justice," she added.

The Prime Minister added that police believed they knew the identity of the attacker but won't reveal the name , "The police and security services believe that the attack was carried out by one man, but they now need to know whether he was acting alone or as part of a wider group. It will take some time to establish these facts, and the investigation will continue. The police and security services will be given all the resources they need to complete that task.The police and security services believe they know the identity of the perpetrator, but at this stage of their investigations we cannot confirm his name. "

Reiterating that the threat level remains high, May said ,"The threat level remains at severe. That means that a terrorist attack remains highly likely. But the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which sets the threat level on the basis of the intelligence available to them, will continue to assess this throughout today and in the days ahead."

May confirmed that she will travel to Manchester to meet the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police , Ian Hopkins, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and members of the emergency services who have come to Manchester's aid in its moment of need." (ANI)
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