LONDON: The man who carried out a deadly suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena was named by British police on Tuesday (May 23) as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.
Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable Ian Hopkins named the attacker in a media briefing, after police raided a home in the south Manchester area of Fallowfield, where Abedi is believed to have lived.
However, Hopkins declined to comment any further about Abedi, saying that the attacker had not yet been named formally by the coroner.
He added: “The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.”
The Islamic State militant group earlier claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying that “one of the caliphate’s soldiers placed bombs among the crowds,” and threatening more attacks.
22 people were killed and 59 others wounded in the Manchester attack. An eight-year-old was among those killed, and at least 12 other children are injured.
Hopkins gave no further details about the 23-year-old man who was earlier arrested over the attack, but said police had executed warrants in the districts of Whalley Range and Fallowfield, where a controlled explosion took place.
British media reported that Abedi’s registered address was in Elsmore Road in Fallowfield.
Police sealed off an entrance to dozens of terraced houses in Fallowfield, where a witness said armed police surrounded a property.
“Police … gained entry to the property using an explosive charge to take the door off,” said Neville Edwards, an events safety adviser, 32, whose mother’s house backs onto the property which was raided.
“Within moments of that, there were reports of a gentleman being whisked off.”
In Whalley Range in southern Manchester, witnesses said armed police had surrounded a newly built apartment block on a usually quiet tree-lined street.
Mussab Amari said he saw lots of police cars and vans. “They just came in and surrounded everywhere. Everyone was armed.”
A resident of the block said: “A variety of people live here. Arabs, English, Kurds, from lots of different nationalities.”
“I think all of them have families,” said the man, who declined to be named, standing outside with his partner and son.
Asghar Ali, 51, who lives opposite the building the police had cordoned off, described the street as quiet and “a good area”.