Manchester Arena bombing suspect named as Salman Abedi, 22, as vigil held in city centre

Police confirmed that 22 people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the

Police confirmed that 22 people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira) - Credit: AP

Police are working to establish whether suspected Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was working alone or as part of a wider network as more victims of last night’s attack are named.

Screengrab from the gofundme page set up in memory of Georgina Callander (left) who has died as a re

Screengrab from the gofundme page set up in memory of Georgina Callander (left) who has died as a result of injuries sustained in an explosion at the Manchester Arena where she had been attending a concert by Ariana Grande (right). PRESS ASSOCIATION - Credit: PA

An eight-year-old girl was among the 22 people killed by a suicide bomber after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena last night.

Saffie Roussos, a “beautiful little girl”, died in the attack which unfolded at around 10.30pm yesterday.

Georgina Callander, 18, was named by her college as the first victim of the attack while friends of John Atkinson, 26 and from Bury, has been named by friends on Facebook as the third.

In a statement released through Lancashire County Council, Tarleton Community Primary Little Saffie’s school headteacher Chris Upton said: “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends.

Saffie Rose Roussos, 8. who died in the Manchester bombing. Picture: Collect/PA Wire.

Saffie Rose Roussos, 8. who died in the Manchester bombing. Picture: Collect/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

“The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.”

Runshaw College in Leyland, Lancashire, spoke of its “enormous sadness” after hearing that Georgina Callander died as a result of the blast at the Ariana Grande concert.

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A spokesman said in a statement the young girl was on the second year of her health and social care course, and was a former student at Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy.

“Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s family, friends, and all of those affected by this loss,” the college said.

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“We are offering all available support possible at this tragic time, including counselling with our dedicated student support team.”

Speaking to reporters in the city centre this afternoon, Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable Ian Hopkins confirmed that the man suspected of carrying out the attack is 22-year-old Salman Abedi.

He said: “Can I start by once again passing on our heartfelt sympathies to all the innocent people caught up in last night’s despicable act.

“We now have a team of specially-trained family liaison officers who are supporting families.

“As you would expect the police response to this across Greater Manchester has been significant as we support people to go about their daily business.

“Part of this response has seen us arrest a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack and we have also carried out two warrants, one in Whalley Range and one in Fallowfield that included a controlled explosion to enable safe entry.

“We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers.

“However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand together and do not tolerate hate.

“”We have been visited by the Prime Minster and Home Secretary and we have taken them through the emergency response so far and what we plan to do in future days.

“I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night’s atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.

“However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn’t wish, therefore, to comment further.

“The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.”

Twelve children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital after the terror attack.

David Ratcliffe, medical director of the North West Ambulance Service, said 12 patients were taken by ambulance to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

It is not known how many children were among walking wounded who went to hospitals.

In a statement read outside the Manchester Royal Infirmary, Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, expressed “deep condolences” to the victims and their families.

He said: “It’s been a terrible night and morning in terms of Greater Manchester. Although we have also seen some of the best aspects of Greater Manchester and the people who live there as well.”

Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, a couple from South Shields, have still yet to be found and family members have travelled to Manchester to try to locate them.

Bernard Wills, 36, the cousin of Liam’s father, said they are a close family and everyone was trying to do their bit.

“They are a great young couple, really loving, with a bright future ahead and there’s nobody that doesn’t like them,” he said.

“Nobody ever has a bad word to say about them, so we’re all a bit worried.

“I think it was Liam’s treat to Chloe this time, they’d gone down to enjoy a night away together.

“I’m sure there’s a valid reason for them not getting in touch, people were dropping their phones as they were leaving or they’ve lost the battery on their phone.”