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Rivlin sends condolences to Queen Elizabeth over Manchester attack

President describes suicide bombing as a ‘threat to our very civilization,’ says all of Israel stands with UK

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh observe a minute's silence at the start of a Special Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 23, 2017. (AFP Photo/Pool/Dominic Lipinski)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh observe a minute's silence at the start of a Special Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 23, 2017. (AFP Photo/Pool/Dominic Lipinski)

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday sent a letter to the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II expressing both his and the citizens of Israel’s “deep sorrow” over the deadly suicide bombing in Manchester.

“I write with deep sorrow and anguish to express my own heartfelt condolences, and those of all the Israeli people, following the atrocious terror attack against the people of Manchester last night,” he said.

“This violent and evil attack, which destroyed so many young lives, demands unequivocal condemnation by all. The whole world must stand united against this threat to our very civilization. I wish to reassure you that Israel stands with the United Kingdom in the fight against terrorism.”

“Our deepest sympathies go to all the bereaved, and our wishes for a full and swift recovery to all the injured,” he added.

Police stand guard at the scene of a suspected suicide bombing in which at least 22 people were killed during a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande in Manchester, England, on May 23, 2017. (AFP Photo/Paul Ellis)
Police stand guard at the scene of a suspected suicide bombing in which at least 22 people were killed during a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande in Manchester, England, on May 23, 2017. (AFP Photo/Paul Ellis)

At least 22 people were killed and 59 injured as a result of Monday’s evening terror attack, which took place at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in the city. Many of those killed and injured were reportedly children. Police said the bomber died in the blast.

President Reuven Rivlin addresses a delegation of members of the Montreal Jewish Federation in Jerusalem on April 14, 2017. (Mark Neiman / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin. (Mark Neiman / GPO)

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The group said in a statement published Tuesday on its social media channels that “one of the caliphate’s soldiers placed bombs among the crowds,” and threatened more attacks.

US officials later said that British authorities identified the suspected suicide bomber as Salman Abedi.

On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said that officials had identified the man who carried out a terror bombing at a pop concert in Manchester the night before, but that the details were not cleared for release.

British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a statement outside 10 Downing Street in London on May 23, 2017. (AFP Photo/Daniel Leal-Olivas)
British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a statement outside 10 Downing Street in London on May 23, 2017. (AFP Photo/Daniel Leal-Olivas)

The terrorist who blew up his bomb outside a pop concert in Manchester aimed to cause “maximum carnage” by detonating it outside one of the exits, May revealed while speaking outside of 10 Downing Street.

May said the attacker had shown “cold calculation” by targeting children, adding that police believe they know his identity but are not disclosing it for the moment as the investigation continues.

“We now know that a single terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue — deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately,” she said.

“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish, but as an opportunity for carnage,” she said.

British police said on Tuesday they had arrested a suspect in connection with the attack.

“With regards to the ongoing investigation into last night’s horrific attack at the Manchester Arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester,” police said in a statement.

Police also performed a controlled explosion during a raid of a modest red brick semi-detached house in Fallowfield in south Manchester.

Neighbors said they had heard the bomber lived there, but most said they knew little about the inhabitants of the house, except that several people lived in it.

Police officers stand on duty on a cordoned-off road in the Fallowfield neighborhood of Manchester on May 23, 2017, as they search a nearby residential property following the May 22 deadly terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. (AFP Photo/Oli Scarff)
Police officers stand on duty on a cordoned-off road in the Fallowfield neighborhood of Manchester on May 23, 2017, as they search a nearby residential property following the May 22 deadly terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. (AFP Photo/Oli Scarff)

There was mass panic after the explosion at the end of the concert Monday, which was part of Grande’s The Dangerous Woman Tour.

Grande, who was not injured, tweeted hours later: “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”

World leaders condemned the attack and offered support. US President Donald Trump, visiting Israel and the West Bank said the people behind the assault were “evil losers” and urged countries to drive out terror ideology from their societies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered condolences to the families of the victims and said “terrorism is a global threat and it is incumbent on the enlightened countries to defeat it everywhere.”

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