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Three people stabbed at Manchester Arndale shopping centre

UK news[1]

Man arrested and questioned as emergency services treat people wounded in attack

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Manchester stabbings: man held on ground by police at Arndale centre – video

Counter-terrorism police are leading an investigation into a series of stabbings at the Arndale shopping centre, Greater Manchester police have said. Three people were stabbed and taken to hospital after the attack on Friday morning, GMP said, and a man in his 40s had been arrested on suspicion of serious assault and was being questioned. A fourth person was assessed at the scene but did not need to go to hospital.

In a statement, GMP said: “In these early stages we are keeping an open mind about the motivation of this terrible incident and the circumstances as we know them. Given the location of the incident and its nature, officers from Counter Terrorism Police North West are leading the investigation as we determine the circumstances.”

Manchester Arndale centre[2]

A police spokesperson later added: “A 19-year-old woman was taken to hospital with stab wounds. Another woman was also taken to hospital with stab injuries.

Both their conditions are described as stable. A man in his 50s has also been taken to hospital with stab wounds. “A fourth victim – a woman in her 40s who was not stabbed – has been assessed and did not need to go to hospital following assessment by paramedics.

“A man in his 40s – who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of serious assault – remains in custody for questioning.” MI5, the domestic security service that leads on counterterrorism investigations, was also monitoring events in Manchester following the stabbings.
Video footage and photographs showed armed police officers deployed around the Exchange Square side of the shopping centre. One clip showed officers using a Taser and holding a man to the ground before arresting him.

In other video and pictures posted on Twitter, a large number of emergency service vehicles were seen arriving at the centre.

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Manchester police run through Arndale shopping centre where three people were stabbed – video

Footage showed people being taken away on stretchers, and members of the public were asked to stay away from the shopping centre. Armed police officers wearing face coverings were stationed outside the shopping centre as a long queue of ambulances arrived and a police helicopter hovered overhead. Plainclothes detectives arrived at the scene while uniformed officers told people the Arndale would be closed for some time.

Bernadette Westhall, 55, said she saw people “running for their lives” and screaming as the attack unfolded. Westhall was in the toilets on the ground floor near a Starbucks cafe when she heard a commotion. “I was coming out of there and everybody was just screaming and running for their lives. I ran straight into a shop and stayed in there until the coast was clear.

It was a lady that he attacked.” A witness who took video footage of a man being Tasered outside the shopping centre said the suspect was “screaming”. John Greenhalgh, 30, was travelling on a tram when it stopped suddenly. “You could tell it was something quite serious – there were a lot of armed police.

They were there very quickly. “The tram was evacuated and we were put in the back of a van. We weren’t told what was happening,” he said. “There was a guy sitting on the floor screaming.”

A shop worker, who gave his name as Jordan, told the PA Media news agency: “A man was running around with a knife lunging at multiple people, one of which came into my store shaken with a small graze. Soon after, security staff told all retail staff to close their doors and move the public to the back of the stores.” Jordan, 23, who has been working at the centre for only a few months, said the attack took place on the ground floor.

Freddie Houlder, 22, from Market Drayton, was also in the centre when he heard “a load of screams just outside” the shop he was in. He said a woman came inside and told others “a guy just ran past the shop and tried to stab me”. He added: “Luckily she had quite a thick jacket.

She thought originally it was a fake knife because of how easily it grazed off, but police came in and said it was a real knife and she burst into tears.” He said he was evacuated several minutes later. In response to the incident, Boris Johnson tweeted: “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.”

Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, tweeted: “Shocked and saddened to hear about the events that have taken place at the Arndale centre in Manchester. I will remain closely informed and updated on the situation.” The UK’s threat level is severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.

In recent days, there have been suspected terrorist attacks in France and Germany, but other incidents in the UK suggest motives can be hard to determine in the immediate aftermath.

Placing the north-west counter-terrorism unit in charge of the investigation of the Manchester stabbings is a precaution at this stage.

Rapid inquiries into the person in custody will determine whether it stays in the lead, or whether the incident passes back to regular police.

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References

  1. ^ UK news (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ Manchester Arndale centre (interactive.guim.co.uk)
  3. ^ UK news (www.theguardian.com)
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  5. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
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