Manchester Arena attack: Terror level raised to "critical" and troops deployed on British streets

BRITAIN-ATTACK
Armed police stand guard in central Manchester (Source: Getty)

A fifth person has been arrested in connection with the terrorist attack in Manchester on Monday night, police said this afternoon.

Four people have been arrested today, after Prime Minister Theresa May revealed the terror threat has risen to "critical", suggesting another attack on UK soil remains highly likely and could be imminent.

Armed military personnel have been deployed on British streets in response to the threat.

The level, decided by terrorism experts from across the security services, has not been critical since nearly a decade ago. It was upgraded from "severe".

"This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent," the PM said.

On Monday night 22 people were killed by a terrorist at a concert in Manchester. Greater Manchester chief constable Ian Hopkins revealed the identity of the suicide bomber as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the atrocity.

"Work undertaken throughout the day has revealed that it is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack," the PM said. May said Abedi was "born and brought up in Britain".

A 23-year old man was arrested in south Manchester yesterday in connection with the attacks, and three more arrests were made this morning. A fifth arrest was made this afternoon.

Soldiers may be deployed to concerts and sporting events in the coming days, May also warned. "Armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sites will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations," she said.

Meanwhile, the Palace of Westminster has been closed to the public today as a result of the heightened security threat.

Read more: PM responds to Manchester attack as parties suspend election campaigning

This is what we know so far:

  • The death toll has risen from 19 to 22, with children among the deceased
  • The youngest victim has been confirmed as eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos. Also among the dead are 18-year-old Georgina Callander and 26-year-old John Atkinson
  • 59 others are injured and being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester
  • Police were called at 10.33pm on Monday night to reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert, with more than 250 calls
  • The attacker died in the explosion and police officers believe the man was carrying an improvised explosive device which he then detonated
  • Police are working to establish whether the attacker was acting alone or as part of a network
  • Greater Manchester police today arrested a 23-year-old in connection with the attack
  • A controlled explosion was carried out in the Fallowfield area of Manchester, as part of the investigation into the suicide bomb attack
  • Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the tragedy
  • All election campaigning has been suspended until further notice with the Prime Minister due to chair a meeting of the government's emergency Cobra committee later this morning
  • The explosion occurred close to the entrance to the Victoria train and tram station, which was closed, with all trains cancelled
  • People have been using #RoomForManchester on Twitter with offers of lifts and rooms for those stranded
  • Police have also told those in need of help to come to the Etihad Stadium access gate 11
  • Emergency numbers have been established for anyone concerned about loved ones: 0161 856 9400 and 0161 856 9900
  • Police also carried out a precautionary controlled explosion in the Cathedral Garden area of the city around 1.30am, later confirming it was not a suspicious item

Global leaders have been offering their condolences and support to the UK in the wake of the attack.

Read more: Police confirm 22 dead including children in Manchester Arena attack

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