A deadly blast at a pop concert in Manchester claimed at least 22 lives including children. What followed next was strong condemnations and condolences on the social media.
The Manchester Police is currently viewing the blast as a possible ‘terrorist attack’, though no organisation has claimed responsibility for the blast yet. “This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise”, read a quote from the police in a Sun report.
In the meantime, screenshots of a couple of messages that were tweeted around 4 hours before the attack took place have begun doing the rounds on social media websites such as Twitter. These tweets – from the account @owys663 – seem to predict the incident. In one tweet it says, “#ISLAMICSTATE #manchesterarena #UK #British ARE YOU FORGET OUR THREAT ? THIS IS THE JUST TERROR”, and another was an image with the hashtag #manchesterarena.
The unverified Twitter account has now been suspended, but screenshots of the messages are being shared on the micro-blogging site. The tweets started at 6.24pm on May 22, with another at 6.28pm and yet another at 6.32pm. The blast happened at around 10.35pm, local time.
— Tab (@Tab1Lambert) May 22, 2017
— Brooklynn (@Brooklynnm77) May 23, 2017
And this account apparently posted something before it was suspended.
— Scott lee (@scottplee) May 23, 2017
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) May 23, 2017
There were children among the 22 killed in the attack, while 59 people were injured, Greater Manchester Police chief Ian Hopkins said early Tuesday.
British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the “appalling terrorist attack” and suspended her campaign ahead of a general election on June 8 along with chief opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The attack was the deadliest in Britain since July 7, 2005 when four suicide bombers inspired by Al-Qaeda attacked London’s transport system during rush hour, killing 52 people and wounding 700 more.
The Manchester blast recalled the November 2015 attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in which armed men wearing explosive belts stormed in and killed 90 people. That attack was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.