Latest: Pictures of Manchester bomb parts; Police make seventh arrest

    KEY POINTS

  • Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, detonated an improvised explosive device killing 22 people and injuring up to 64. The injured - including 12 under the age of 16 - were being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester. Abedi died at the arena;
  • It has been reported that Salman Abedi’s brother and father have been arrested in Libya;
  • A number of arrests have been made by police investigating the attack, both yesterday and today;
  • British Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed UK security services had been aware of the British-born attacker;
  • Many of the victims have now been identified, with police saying they have identified all those killed in the attack;
  • Many of the 59 people hurt in the attack were treated for life-threatening injuries. Twelve of those rushed to hospital were children;
  • 20 people are in "critical care" across Manchester suffering from "horrific injuries";
  • Military personnel are being deployed to key sites after the official threat assessment was raised to critical, the highest level, indicating that a further attack may be imminent;
  • France's interior minister disclosed that Abedi, 22, is believed to have travelled to Syria and claimed he had "proven" links with Islamic State;


Update 00:26am: Seven people have been arrested in the UK over the Manchester Arena attack as counter-terrorism police swooped on the suicide bomber's suspected "network".

Six men and a woman are in custody after a series of raids across Manchester, Wigan and Nuneaton, Warwickshire, while relatives of bomber Salman Abedi were detained in Libya.

Abedi's father, Ramadan Abedi, was arrested in Tripoli with his brother Hashim, who Libyan security forces said was "aware of all the details" of the attack.

Abedi's older brother Ismail was detained in Chorlton, south Manchester, on Tuesday.

Ramadan Abedi had earlier claimed his son was innocent, saying: "We don't believe in killing innocents. This is not us."

The developments came as the police investigation was hit by further leaks to the US media, with the New York Times releasing crime scene photos appearing to show bomb fragments and the backpack used to conceal the explosive.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said the leak of the pictures breached trust and "undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families".

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to raise UK concerns when she meets US President Donald Trump at a Nato meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

Update 10.59pm: Police have arrested a seventh suspect in the investigation into the Manchester Arena bombing.

Officers arrested a man at an address in Nuneaton on Wednesday evening.

Greater Manchester Police said: "We have been carrying out searching at an address in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and arrested a man.

"These searches are connected to Monday's attack on the Manchester Arena."

It brings the total arrests to six men and one woman, all of whom are in custody and being questioned by police.

Update 10.36pm: Leaked intelligence about the Manchester bomb attack to the US media "undermines" the UK investigation, counter-terrorism officers said.

The National Police Chiefs' Council has spoken out after photographs apparently showing bloodstained fragments from the concert bomb were published in the New York Times (NYT).

The pictures appeared a day after the bomber's name was briefed to the US media against the wishes of Greater Manchester Police, and just hours after Home Secretary Amber Rudd issued a plea to US authorities not to leak material about the atrocity.

A blood-smeared silver detonator with wires trailing from one end is seen lying on the floor. Picture: New York Times.

A National Counter Terrorism Policing spokesman said: "We greatly value the important relationships we have with our trusted intelligence, law enforcement and security partners around the world.

"These relationships enable us to collaborate and share privileged and sensitive information that allows us to defeat terrorism and protect the public at home and abroad.

"When that trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families.

"This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter-terrorism investigation."

Update 9.08pm: A woman has been arrested in connection with the Manchester bombing after armed police swarmed a block of flats in the north of the city.

Residents heard a "huge bang" as officers carrying firearms raided an address in Blackley on Wednesday evening.

Greater Manchester Police said: "A search was carried out and a woman has been arrested in connection with the investigation into the Manchester Arena incident."

Alex Finnie, 54, said armed police and "men who looked like soldiers" were involved in the swoop, which he believed was on the 12th floor.

He heard a noise which sounded like windows being blown out as police entered the flat.

He then saw a woman with dark hair and wearing a blue shirt with her hands cuffed behind her back and pressed up against a window.

He told the Press Association: "When the bang went I heard screaming and shouting and then they took the woman out.

"She was facing this way out the window and a couple of minutes later two armed police took her away.

"After the first one I heard loud banging on another door but on the same floor."

The woman was driven away in a police van, he said, adding that armed police were preventing residents from accessing the floor.

Resident Chris Barlow said there was a "huge bang" and "huge police presence".

"There was about 30 people on the street - they said there's been an explosion at the flats, a bomb or explosion," he told the Press Association.

"There's CTU (counter terrorism unit) special forces - I spoke to one officer and they said they blew the door in and took a couple of people away."

James Mooney, 27, said his sister was inside her flat on the 12th floor and had not been in touch since the "bang" sounded at around 6.50pm.

"I was on the phone to her," he said.

"There was a big bang and she went 'oh no' and she dropped her phone or something."

The family have been unable to get hold of Louise, 34 - but said police did not appear to think there was reason for them to worry.

"I told them my daughter is in there and they just said they would update us in a bit," father John Mooney, 53, said.

Police remain posted outside the building, with officers only allowing residents to access the last stretch of road leading to the block.

A scrap of the backpack worn by Abedi found singed at the Manchester arena.

Update 8.08pm: A "huge bang" was heard as police raided a block of flats in north Manchester.

Witnesses said they saw special forces swoop on the address in Northland Road, Blackley, on Wednesday evening.

Resident Chris Barlow said there was a "huge bang" and "huge police presence".

"There was about 30 people on the street - they said there's been an explosion at the flats, a bomb or explosion," he told the Press Association.

"There's CTU (counter terrorism unit) special forces - I spoke to one officer and they said they blew the door in and took a couple of people away."

Greater Manchester Police were unable to comment on whether the incident is linked to the investigation into the Manchester bombing on Monday, which left 22 dead and dozens injured.

Police activity at an address in Elsmore Road.

Update 7.24pm: The brother of the alleged Manchester bomber had links to the Islamic State group and was aware of his brother's plans, a Libyan security force said.

The Special Deterrent anti-terror force said in a statement on its Facebook page that the arrest of Hashim Abedi took place in Tripoli as he was receiving cash transferred from his brother Salman.

British authorities have identified 22-year-old Salman Abedi as the suspected bomber in the attack at Manchester Arena on Monday night.

The force's statement says: "The brother was aware of all the details of the terrorist attack."

The Libyan security force claimed that Hashim Abedi told authorities that both he and his brother belonged to IS.

The Facebook statement says Hashim left Britain for Libya in April.

Update 7.15pm: Ariana Grande's concerts at London's O2 Arena on Thursday May 25 and Friday May 26 have been cancelled.

A statement from Grande's management said: "Due to the tragic events in Manchester the Dangerous Woman tour with Ariana Grande has been suspended until we can further assess the situation and pay our proper respects to those lost.

"The London O2 shows this week have been cancelled as well as all shows through June 5 in Switzerland.

"We ask at this time that we all continue to support the city of Manchester and all those families affected by this cowardice and senseless act of violence.

"Our way of life has once again been threatened but we will overcome this together. Thank you."

Update 7.06pm: Photos have emerged of the apparent bomb used in the Manchester attack, which may have been concealed in a hiking backpack.

The shredded remains of the light blue Karrimor bag apparently carried by Salman Abedi can be seen in a series of "law enforcement images" on the New York Times website.

A blood-smeared silver detonator with wires trailing from one end is also seen lying on the floor.

In one photo it is placed alongside a white forensic tape measure.

"The apparent detonator, which British law enforcement officials said was carried in the bomber's left hand, is also unusual for a manual detonator in a suicide device, in that it appears to have contained a small circuit board soldered inside one end," the American paper reported.

"It is not clear from the law enforcement images if the object was a simple plunger switch, or included a timer or a receiver that could be operated remotely via radio signal - or some combination."

Shrapnel, including nuts and screws, are also shown on a bloodied floor.

Another image shows the charred remains of a 12-volt battery.

Update 6.45pm: As the huge inquiry into the Manchester attacks continued, the father of perpetrator Salman Abedi claimed his son was innocent, saying: "We don't believe in killing innocents. This is not us."

Ramadan Abedi, who is in Tripoli, Libya, denied his son was linked to militants or the bombing.

Mr Abedi told the Associated Press his family "aren't the ones who blow up ourselves among innocents".

He said his son sounded "normal" when he last spoke to him five days ago, adding that Abedi had visited Libya a month-and-a-half ago.

Ramadan Abedi was later detained by masked gunmen while recording television interviews, according to ITV News.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the bomber's younger brother, Hashem Abedi, had also been detained in Tripoli on suspicion of links with Islamic State.

In other developments on Wednesday detectives made a further four arrests, taking the number of people in custody to five.

And there were reports that members of the public blew the whistle on Abedi several years ago by reporting him to the anti-terrorism hotline.

An unnamed Muslim community worker told the BBC two people who knew the attacker at college tipped off officers after he made statements "supporting terrorism" and expressing the view that "being a suicide bomber was OK".

The calls are thought to have been made five years ago after Abedi left school, the community worker added.

It comes after NBC News cited US officials as saying the bomber's family had warned security services that he was "dangerous".

Twenty-two people were killed and dozens more seriously injured when Abedi, 22, detonated a device as fans left Manchester Arena, where US star Ariana Grande was performing on Monday night.

It was the deadliest terrorist incident to hit the UK since the July 7 attacks in London in 2005 and sparked a nationwide security operation amid fears further strikes could be imminent.

On Wednesday afternoon, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said the level of activity in the probe is "intense" and continuing "at pace".

Asked if officers are looking for the person who made the bomb, he said: "I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating and as I've said, it continues at pace, this extensive investigation is going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak."

Update 5.50pm: Armed police swooped on a street in Wigan as they made the fifth arrest in the investigation into the Manchester bombing.

The town centre was in lockdown as officers carrying automatic weapons carried out the raid.

Witnesses say a man was tackled to the ground in Upper Dicconson Street after he was seen with a suspicious package.

Photos shared on social media appear to show him being led away by plain clothes officers with their faces covered wearing black police caps.

Wigan Council warned people to avoid the area because of an "ongoing police incident".

A nearby nursery, Little Acorns, was put into lockdown and warned parents not to come to collect their children.

"We are currently on lock down due to an incident in the area," a statement on its Facebook page said.

"We are safe. All children are upstairs. Please DO NOT come for your children at little Acorns you will not get in."

Update 5.36pm: A suspect has been arrested in Wigan in connection with the Manchester suicide bomb attack, Greater Manchester Police said.

Update 5.24pm: A minute's silence will be held at 11am on Thursday in remembrance of those who lost their lives or were affected by the attack in Manchester, the UK Government has announced.

Update 5.01pm: It has recently emerged that the 23-year-old man arrested yesterday in Chorlton is Salman Abedi's brother.

Ismail Abedi was arrested on Tuesday in Chorlton.

Update 4.54pm: Mother-of-three Michelle Kiss was taken away in the "most traumatic way imaginable", her family said as they vowed to "draw from the courage and strength she showed in her life".

Ms Kiss, from Lancashire, was among the 22 people killed on Monday when a suicide bomber detonated a homemade device that tore through the foyer of Manchester Arena as people left following a pop concert.

In a statement issued through Greater Manchester Police, her family said: "Michelle Kiss was a loving wife to Tony, mother to Dylan, Elliot and Millie, as well as daughter to Mick and Christine and sister to Nichola.

"She tragically died during the horrible event that occurred on Monday night.

"Family was her life and we are all obviously devastated by her loss.

"She has been taken away from us, and all that love her, in the most traumatic way imaginable.

"We hope to draw from the courage and strength she showed in her life to get through this extremely difficult time."

Update 3.50pm: As a huge inquiry into the the Manchester bombing continues, the father of perpetrator Salman Abedi claimed his son was innocent, saying: "We don't believe in killing innocents. This is not us."

Police have confirmed they are investigating a "network" in connection with as it emerged an off-duty female officer was killed in the atrocity.

In other developments on Wednesday detectives made a further three arrests in connection with the investigation, taking the number of people in custody to four.

Twenty-two people were killed and dozens more seriously injured when Abedi, 22, detonated a device as fans left Manchester Arena, where US star Ariana Grande was performing on Monday night.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said the level of activity in the probe is "intense" and continuing "at pace".

Asked if officers are looking for the person who made the bomb, he said: "I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating and as I've said, it continues at pace, this extensive investigation is going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak."

Mr Hopkins confirmed that one of the victims of the attack was a serving police officer but provided no further details.

The BBC reported that the policewoman's husband is critically ill and her two children were injured.

Sources said the family are from Cheshire.

Update 2.20pm: There was a brief security scare at the BBC Salford studios this afternoon, with reports that staff had to leave the building during a live broadcast after an alarm was heard.

A reporter who was on air at the time soon said on social media that it was a false alarm and added that they would be returning to the studio.

The studio is based in Media City at Salford Quays, which is a 15-minute tram from Manchester city centre.

Update 1.25pm: Police have raided a block of flats close to Manchester Piccadilly Station following Monday's attack in the city.

Residents described how armed police and men clad in balaclavas stormed the Granby House building on Granby Row, in central Manchester.

The railway was briefly closed during the raid, police said.

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: "Officers have this afternoon carried out a search at an address in Manchester City Centre as part of the investigation into the horrific incident at Manchester Arena.

"That search is ongoing.

"In order to do this safely we briefly closed a railway line, but it has now been reopened."

Louise Bolotin, a freelance journalist who lives in the building, described how the fire alarm went off before police stormed the building and broke into a flat on the third floor.

"I came running down the front staircase, six floors, and got to the front entrance and was met by a police officer in full-on tactical helmet, face mask, machine gun. I was expecting to see the fire brigade."

She added: "I said 'what's happening and he just said out'."

Marcus Murray, 27, lives on the first floor of the building and was looking on as officers went in and out.

"I wanted to come back into my flat but there were unmarked cars.

"I got to the front door and there was a guy with a gun who said I can't go in," he said.

Mr Murray, a software engineer, added: "I feel a bit uneasy. Going to sleep is going to be a bit difficult. It just feels unsafe.

"You just don't expect it do you? It's very strange," he said.

Mr Murray said it is common for people to come and stay in flats in the building just for the weekend.

"It's usually a very quiet street," he said, adding: "I felt safe before, but not now."

Update - 10.39am: Three men have been arrested in south Manchester in connection with the concert bomb attack, Greater Manchester Police said.

They were detained after police executed warrants in south Manchester.

A total of four people have now been arrested as part of the inquiry into the atrocity.

Update - 8.25am: 20 people remain in "critical care" across Manchester with people suffering from "horrific injuries".

These include major organ damage and potential loss of limbs, Jon Rouse of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership has said.

He told the BBC: "They've been the sort of traumatic injuries that you would expect in terms of the type of device used, the proximity to the people who were injured.

"We're dealing with injuries to major organs, we're dealing with loss of limbs potentially, we're dealing with embedded objects, all the horrific injuries that you would expect from the event that happened."

He said the victims were "receiving round-the-clock treatment from doctors and nurses".

Some 59 people were hurt in the attack and 12 of those rushed to hospital were children.

Update - 7.51am: The British military will be providing armed guards for key locations across London.

These include Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, the Palace of Westminster and embassies, Scotland Yard said.

Soldiers will replace armed police at many sites under Operation Temperer, which is being enacted after security experts warned the Government that another terrorist attack could be imminent.

Scotland Yard said there would be a surge in police numbers and operations with immediate effect.

Extra armed officers will provide support for an operation called Project Servator which sees uniformed and undercover officers trying to spot people carrying out "hostile reconnaissance" and other criminal activity on the capital's streets.

The tactic "is based on extensive research into the psychology of criminals and what undermines their activities", the force said.

There will also be an increase in the use of stop and search, vehicle check points and number plate recognition technology.

The decision taken at a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee will mean soldiers will play a key role in protecting civilians and free up armed police officers to help fight the terror threat.

Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was known "up to a point" to the intelligence services, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said.

The Government raised the terrorism threat level to "critical" - the highest possible rating - on Tuesday amid fears another attack is imminent.

Ms Rudd disclosed that the intelligence services had been aware of British-born Abedi, who is reported to have recently returned to the UK from a visit to Libya.

She told Sky News: "We do know that he was known up to a point to the intelligence services".

Earlier: Britain is on critical terror alert with military troops set to bolster police forces amid fears Manchester attacker Salman Abedi did not act alone.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the threat level to the highest possible rating, meaning another atrocity is expected imminently.

She said a "wider group of individuals" could have been involved in the Manchester Arena blast rather than just suicide bomber Abedi.

In a sign of the increased threat, the military could be deployed to support armed police officers, Mrs May added during a live televised statement from Downing Street.

Monday night's attack at a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande left 22 people dead, including an eight-year-old girl, and dozens injured.

As counter-terrorism agencies mounted a massive inquiry into the outrage - the worst terrorist attack since 52 innocent people were killed in the July 7 bombings in London in 2005:

The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the barbaric attack, which involved a home-made device packed with nuts and bolts which exploded in the venue's foyer as thousands of young people were leaving.

Abedi, believed to have been born in Manchester and of Libyan descent, has been named as the suicide bomber.

The 22-year-old studied business at Salford University but dropped out before completing his degree.

He is thought to have attended the Manchester Islamic Centre, also known as Didsbury Mosque, along with his parents and siblings.

A family friend, who asked not to be named, described him as "normal" and said they were known to the Libyan community in the city.

He told the Press Association: "He was always friendly, nothing to suggest (he was violent). He was normal, to be honest."

Abedi was named after armed officers carried out a raid and controlled explosion at an address in south Manchester where he was registered as living.

Elsewhere in the city, the first arrest was made in connection with the inquiry when a 23-year-old man was detained near a Morrisons in Chorlton.

The terror threat level was increased after investigations revealed he may not have acted alone.

Mrs May said Operation Temperer - allowing military personnel to take to the streets - is now in force.

She will chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee at 9.30am on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, fears were growing for Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, a couple from South Shields, 15-year-old Olivia Campbell from Manchester, Eilidh MacLeod, from Barra in Scotland, Kelly Brewster from Sheffield, and Martyn Hett and Wendy Fawell.

All were believed to have been at the concert and have not been traced since the attack.

The death of Saffie Rose Roussos, the youngest known victim of the attack, was described by her headteacher as "heartbreaking".

Chris Upton, of Tarleton Community Primary School, said: "Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word."

Another victim was named by her college as Georgina Callander, who was studying health and social care at Runshaw College in Leyland, Lancashire.

Tributes were also paid to 26-year-old John Atkinson from Bury, who was named by friends on Facebook as an apparent victim.

The country's senior anti-terror police officer said there were "gaps in our knowledge" about Abedi which had led to the increased threat level.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: "We are moving at pace, we are making arrests, we are doing searches but - not unsurprisingly - there are still gaps in our knowledge.

"Whilst we are chasing those gaps down, on a precautionary basis, based on that judgment, JTAC (the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre) have made this judgment about the threat level and we will respond in our policing stance to that decision."

Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling said the raised level will support the "significant" resources the force has in place.

He also praised the "tremendous strength and resilience" shown in Manchester on Tuesday, adding: "We need this to continue in the difficult days ahead."

Ms Campbell's mother, Charlotte Campbell, paid tribute to her daughter on Facebook.

She said: "RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far far to soon go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much."

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