Thousands gathered at Albert Square in Manchester city centre last night (May 23) for a vigil in the wake of the terror attack.
Many people held up “I ❤ MCR” placards and others waved signs saying “#WeStandTogether” and “#TurnToLove”. Speaking from the stage, the city’s Lord Mayor, Eddy Newman, thanked the emergency services and described the occasion as an opportunity for people to “express solidarity” with the attack’s victims.
Monday night saw 22 people killed and around 59 injured after an Ariana Grande show at Manchester Arena, when a lone bomber caused an explosion in the foyer of the venue. In what has been condemned as an ‘evil atrocity’, many of those hurt and killed are said to be children and teenagers. The assailant, since named as 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi, a Mancunian of Libyan descent, died on the scene. Seven of the victims have now been named.
Other prominent figures who appeared on stage at the vigil included Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Speaker John Bercow and Mayor Andy Burnham.
Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police told the crowd: “As your Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and as a father I cannot begin to imagine how anyone can carry out such an unthinkable act – murdering 22 people and injuring 59 – and my thoughts and those of my colleague are very much with their families at this incredibly difficult time.”
Below, check out a selection of pictures from the vigil shared on Instagram.
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LOVE IS POWERFUL! This evening I was at #ManchesterVigil standing by brothers and sisters from around the world. . . . . . #Manchester #ManchesterArena #ManchesterArenaExplosion #SayNoToTerrorism #SayNoToViolence #LoveIsPowerful #BrothersAndSisters #WorldPeace #WorldLove #AgainstHate #Unity #United #Togetherness
While Ariana Grande said that she was ‘broken’ after the attack, the entertainment world has spoken out in tribute – with the likes of Johnny Marr, Taylor Swift, Liam Gallagher, Katy Perry, Harry Styles and many more honouring those who died and the people of Manchester.
Noel Gallagher has also paid tribute following the attack, while Queen’s Brian May has responded, too, saying: “To me, it’s almost impossible to imagine the kind of hatred that has to exist in someone if they would bomb children.”
It has been reported that Ariana Grande has suspended her tour in the wake of the attack. Other vigils took place all over the UK last night, and police confirmed that a man with an axe was arrested at the Birmingham vigil.
Anyone with any information about the terror attack in Manchester on Monday night is asked to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence on 0800 789321.