CONCERT ATTACK: Suicide bomber identified - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CONCERT ATTACK: Suicide bomber identified

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Associated Press Associated Press

UPDATE: WASHINGTON (AP) -- US officials: British authorities have identified suspected Manchester suicide bomber as Salman Abedi.

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UPDATE: MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- UK ambulance official: 12 children under age of 16 were among 59 injured in concert attack. British authorities say an 8-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos, was among the 22 people killed in the Manchester bombing

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UPDATE: BEIRUT (AP) -- Islamic State group says one of its members carried out the Manchester attack that killed 22 people.

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UPDATE: MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- UK police arrest 23-year-old man in Manchester in relation to concert attack.

UK police evacuate Arndale shopping center in Manchester; reports say one man arrested

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UPDATE: BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — President Donald Trump condemned the "evil losers" responsible for the deadly attack on concert-goers in England Tuesday and called on leaders in the Middle East in particular to help root out violence.

"The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever," Trump said during remarks in Bethlehem alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. "This wicked ideology must be obliterated."

Trump spoke on his fourth and final day in the Middle East. After meetings with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, the president has been pushing the prospect of peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Standing alongside Abbas, Trump said an agreement with Israel could "begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East."

Abbas said he was keen to "keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbors." He reiterated the Palestinians demands, including establishing a capital in East Jerusalem, territory Israel claims as well.

The White House said Trump was being kept updated on the attacks in Manchester, England, by his national security team. More than 20 people were killed by an apparent suicide bomber. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

To get to Bethlehem, Trump's motorcade passed through an opening in Israel's towering separation barrier, a visual reminder of the complexities of the conflict in the region. Israel built the barrier a decade ago, saying it was a defense against Palestinian militants who carried out deadly attacks. Palestinians say the barrier is a land grab because it slices off 10 percent of the West Bank.

Later Tuesday, Trump will return to Jerusalem to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and deliver remarks. He'll then head to Rome ahead of his meeting Wednesday at the Vatican with Pope Francis.

Trump's visit to Jerusalem has been laden with religious symbolism. He toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which by Christian tradition is where Jesus was crucified and the location of his tomb. Wearing a black skull cap, he became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, the most holy site at which Jews can pray.

Trump was joined by first lady Melania Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump. The family was separated by gender. The president and Kushner visited one side, while the first daughter and first lady visited a portion of the site reserved for women. Trump approached alone and placed his hand on the stone.

The visit raised questions about whether the U.S. would indicate the site is Israeli territory. The U.S. has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Old City seized in the 1967 war.

The White House struggled to answer the question. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley declared the site part of Israel, while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday dodged the question. Trump himself never commented.

The president also unexpectedly offered a new defense of his disclosure of classified information to Russian diplomats in a recent Oval Office meeting. Standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he argued he never mentioned Israel, the source of the classified intelligence, according to various officials — something he has not been accused of doing.

"So you have another story wrong," he told reporters.

Netanyahu played down what has appeared to be a violation of an intelligence-sharing agreement with his country, saying U.S.-Israeli intelligence cooperation is "terrific." But Trump's offhand remark was another stark reminder that his troubles at home, including the investigation of his campaign's ties to Russia and his firing of FBI Director James Comey, have followed him across the ocean.

The moment was an abrupt interruption of an otherwise warm and smooth welcome for Trump to the Holy Land. After years of butting heads with Trump's predecessor, Netanyahu celebrated a new American president's arrival as a moment of hope in the stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinians.

"I also look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region, because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners," Netanyahu said. "It won't be simple. But for the first time in many years — and, Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime — I see a real hope for change."

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UPDATE:  Manchester police say the man who set off an improvised explosive device at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England died in the attack.

Police said Tuesday 22 people died in the attack Monday night. It wasn't clear if that included the suspected suicide bomber. Dozens more were injured.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said forensic investigations are continuing as police try to determine if the attacker had accomplices.

He did not provide any information about the individual who detonated the device.

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UPDATE: Manchester Police say 22 were killed in attack at Ariana Grande concert.

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) - An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert attended by thousands of young music fans in northern England, killing at least 19 people and injuring dozens in what police said Tuesday they suspected was a terrorist attack.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins says police are treating the blast as an act of terrorism "until we know otherwise." The local ambulance service says 59 people were taken to hospitals.

There was panic after the explosion, which struck around 10:30 p.m. Monday night as Grande was ending the concert, part of her Dangerous Woman Tour.

The singer, who was not injured, tweeted hours later: "Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words."

Police cars, bomb-disposal units and 60 ambulances raced to the scene as the scale of the carnage became clear. More than 400 officers were deployed overnight after the blast occurred.

Manchester Arena said on its website that the blast struck outside the venue as concertgoers were leaving. Some eyewitnesses said it happened in the foyer of the arena just after the concert ended.

One witness said Grande had just finished her final song and said "Thank you, Manchester," before leaving the stage.

The incident led to a nightlong search for loved ones as frantic parents tried to locate their teenage children and groups of friends scattered by the explosion sought to find one another.

Taxi services offered to give stranded concertgoers rides home for free, and residents opened their homes to provide lodging for people who could not get home because public transport had shut down.

City officials said the true spirit of Manchester would shine through despite the horrendous incident.

Twitter and Facebook were filled with appeals for information about people who had not been accounted for.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd called the incident "a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society - young people and children out at a pop concert."

Jenny Brewster said she was leaving the concert with her 11-year-old daughter when the blast hit.

"As I turned around, boom, one loud noise," she told Sky News. "A gentleman said 'run!' so we ran."

Outside, she said, "you could smell the burning."

Britain's terrorist threat level stands at "severe," the second-highest rung on a five-point scale, meaning an attack is highly likely.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Supporters of the extremist Islamic State group, which holds territory in Iraq's Mosul and around its de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa, celebrated the blast online. One wrote: "May they taste what the weak people in Mosul and (Raqqa) experience from their being bombed and burned," according to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group.

If the explosion is confirmed as a terrorist attack it would be the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on three subway trains and a bus in July 2005.

"A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena," said concertgoer Majid Khan, 22. "It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit."

Added Oliver Jones, 17: "The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run."

Video from inside the arena showed concertgoers screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government was working to establish "the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack."

May is due to chair a meeting of the government's COBRA emergency committee later Tuesday. She and other candidates suspended campaigning for Britain's June 8 election after the blast.

Police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena, and the train station near the arena, Victoria Station, was evacuated and all trains canceled.

The Dangerous Woman tour is the third concert tour by 23-year-old Grande and supports her third studio album, "Dangerous Woman."

Grande's role as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon's high school sitcom "Victorious" propelled her to teen idol status, starting in 2010.

The tour began in Phoenix, Arizona, in February. After Manchester, Grande was to perform at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, with concerts in Latin America and Asia to follow.

Pop concerts and nightclubs have been a terrorism target before. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal in November 2015.

In Turkey, 39 people died when a gunman attacked New Year's revelers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.

Manchester, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that leveled a swath of the city center. More than 200 people were injured, though no one was killed.

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UPDATE: Manchester Police raise death toll in Ariana Grande concert blast to 22. Manchester police say they believe one man carried out attack on Ariana Grande concert; not sure if he acted alone.

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At least 19 people were killed and about 50 others were injured in a suspected suicide bombing Monday night after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in England, authorities said.

Greater Manchester Police said the incident was being treated as terrorism. A senior White House official told NBC News that President Donald Trump, who is on a visit to Jerusalem, had been briefed on the incident.

Multiple U.S. officials briefed on the investigation told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side, opposite the Manchester Victoria transit station, which is part of the greater arena complex.

The explosion occurred as the concert ended at about 10:35 p.m. local (5:35 p.m. ET), catching people as they exited.

Law enforcement sources in both Britain and the United States told NBC News that at least 20 people were killed but that the information was preliminary and subject to change.

Greater Manchester Police said only that there were "a number of confirmed fatalities and injuries" as hundreds of fans fled the arena. Emergency crews rushed to the scene after the possible blasts, which were first reported about 10:40 p.m. (5:40 p.m. ET).

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

U.S. officials said initial reports from the scene indicated that a number of the casualties might have been caused by a stampede of concert-goers.

New York City counterterrorism police said they were monitoring developments.

"Ariana is okay," a representative said. "We are further investigating what happened."

Likewise, Bianca Landrieu, the Boston hiphop star known as Bia, who also performed, tweeted: "Guys we are okay!!!"

British Transport Police said officers were at the arena, which sits atop the Manchester Victoria transit station. All lines to Manchester Victoria were closed, National Rail said in a statement. Northern Railway said the station had been evacuated.

Ivo Delgado, who was attending the event, told NBC News that the concert had just ended when "I just heard a loud bang."

"People started screaming and going to the other side of the arena," said Delgado, who said he saw at least one person with blood on his face.

Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, tweeted that his two daughters had been in attendance and were safe.

"But I fear for others," he said.

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