A knife attack left several people injured on Friday 11th October 2019 at a shopping mall in Manchester, in the north of England.
A man in his forties was arrested for terrorism following a stabbing attack that left several people injured on Friday 11th October 2019 in a shopping mall in Manchester, in the north of England.
The assailant, “armed with a large knife,” acted alone and his motivation is not known at the moment, said a police chief of Manchester, Russ Jackson, at a press conference.
“A blind attack”
“He started to come on suddenly and attack people with the knife,” he detailed. “It seems like a blind attack, certainly brutal and extremely frightening to all who have witnessed it. ”
The attack took place around 11.15 local time (10:15 GMT) and resulted in the deployment of a major security device in this city, hit in 2017 by a bomb attack that had killed 22 people at the exit of a concert from American pop star Ariana Grande.
The anti-terrorist police were seized because of “the location of the incident and its nature,” the police said in a statement.
No life in danger
Videos posted on social media showed police officers controlling a man on the ground outside the mall. “In five minutes, he was […] detained by armed police,” said Russ Jackson.
The number of wounded provided by the police varied several times: it had initially evoked five wounded, before bringing the balance sheet to three, than to evoke again five wounded during the press conference.
Three people, two women in a “stable” state and a 50-year-old man were taken to the hospital. “Although these are bad wounds (…) none of them happily endanger their lives,” Jackson said.
On Twitter, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked” and sent his “thoughts” to the victims, thanking relief services and investigators.
Shocked by the incident in Manchester and my thoughts are with the injured and all those affected. Thank you to our excellent emergency services who responded and who are now investigating what happened.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 11, 2019
According to local media, the Arndale shopping center, where the events took place, was evacuated. A large security device has been put in place.
” Randomly “
A witness on the scene, named Jordan, told the PA news agency that he saw a “man with a knife rushing to several people”. Shortly after, “the security agents ordered the store staff to close shop and direct the customers to the back of the stores,” said the 23-year-old, employed at one of the shopping center’s shops.
Freddie Houlder, 22, told PA he heard “screaming just outside” the shop he was in. A woman then entered the shop, explaining that a man had just tried to stab her.
According to the young man, the assailant was trying to hit people “at random”.
The city of Manchester was struck more than two years ago by an attack claimed by the Islamic State Jihadist group.
Precedents in the United Kingdom
On May 22, 2017, Salman Abedi blew up a bomb at the exit of a concert hall in which the American pop star Ariana Grande had just performed. Twenty-two people were killed, including seven children, and 260 wounded.
A parliamentary committee had concluded that the British intelligence services had missed several opportunities to prevent the jihadist from carrying out his attack.
In 1996, the mall was targeted by an attack claimed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which had 212 wounded.
A pickup truck exploded in front of one of the entrances to the building. More than 1000 m2 of offices and shops had been destroyed, causing 880 million euros of damage.