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The Queen releases statement in the wake of 'dreadful' Manchester concert attack

2017-05-23
Queen Elizabeth II has released a statement following last night's attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester which left 22 people dead and 59 injured. The monarch expressed her "shock" at the death and injury inflicted after a suicide bomber detonated a device in the foyer of Manchester's MEN Arena shortly after 10.30pm last night (May 22). In a statement released by the Royal Family, the Queen has sent her "deepest condolences" to the victims and their families, and praised emergency service workers who continue to deal with the terrible aftermath of the atrocity. "The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert," the 91-year-old said. "I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured. "I want to thank all the members of the emergency services who have responded with such professionalism and care. "And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity." Police have confirmed that a 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with last night’s terror attack, while the BBC reports that Islamic extremist group Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack. Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed this morning that police believe they know the identity of the bomber, who died at the scene, but that they would not yet name him while initial investigations are ongoing. Meanwhile, the first victim of last night’s fatal terror attack in Manchester has been named as 18-year-old Georgina Callander, from Lancashire. Friends paid tribute to the "kind and loving" Health and Social Care student and Ariana Grande fan, who had tweeted of her excitement at seeing her idol just 24 hours before her death. Many of those injured in the attack are still being treated at eight hospitals across Manchester, some for life-threatening injuries. Several concer-goers also remain missing, with families reporting that they are unable to get in touch with their loved ones. An emergency helpline has been set up at 0161 856 9400.