Thousands across UK pay tribute to Manchester attack victims
Thousands of people have come together across the UK to hold vigils for the victims of Monday night’s bombing attack in Manchester, which killed 22 people and injured around 120 more at a pop concert led by American singer Ariana Grande.
People of all races, nationalities and religious backgrounds attended the Tuesday evening events while waving English flags and holding banners inscribed with “Love for all and hatred for none” and “I heart Manchester.”
In Manchester, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron joined Mayor Andy Burnham to address the large crowd and pay tribute to the dead.
In London, people gathered at the Trafalgar Square and held flags while observing a minute of silence for the victims.
In Liverpool, people drew a large peace sign on the ground using candles and flowers. In Glasgow, people laid flowers at George Square.
The vigil in Birmingham main Victoria Square was interrupted when police arrested a man armed with a large knife and a baseball bat near the event, which had attracted about 1,000 people.
Chief constable David Thompson said they had to evacuate all people from the scene as a precaution.
The Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group took responsibility for the attack, saying “one of the soldiers of the Caliphate” had been able “to place an explosive device” at the Manchester Arena.
American officials, including US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, raised doubts over the credibility of the claim.
“They claim responsibility for virtually every attack,” Coats told the US Senate Armed Services Committee. “We have not verified yet the connection.”
UK police confirmed on Tuesday night that the attack was carried out by Salman Abedi, 23.
Undeterred by the developments, however, people remained defiant and said they would not allow terrorists to affect their everyday lives.
Muslims hold vigil
Meanwhile, British Muslims have been able to raise thousands of pounds for the victims and their families through a series of fundraisers called #MuslimsForManchester .
Launched by the British Muslim Heritage Center (BMHC), the appeal aims to raise at least £50,000.
Cheadle Mosque, Islamic Society of Britain and Altrincham Muslim Association are some of the organizations that support the movements.