Bombing in Manchester; IS Claims Responsibility

[Content Note: Terrorism; injury; death.]

Last night, at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at an arena in Manchester, UK, an explosion was set off, killing at least 22 people and injuring 59 others, some seriously.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, though there is no evidence yet of international coordination; IS now frequently claims responsibility for terrorist acts committed by individual radicalized actors. Police are investigating whether the killer was part of a network. The explosion is also being investigated as a suicide bombing, as it is believed the bomber was carrying and detonated an improvised explosive device (IED).

Two of the victims have been identified: 18-year-old Georgina Callander, who was a health and social care student, and 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, who was attending the concert with her mother and sister, both of whom are reportedly still being treated for their injuries.

Additional names of those killed will be released throughout the day as they are identified and their families notified.

The Guardian is posting live updates here.

My condolences to the families, friends, and communities of those who were killed. My sympathies to the injured, and to the survivors who were not physically injured but must process this extraordinary trauma. I am so sorry.

My heart always aches after any terrorist attack. Manchester is hitting me particularly hard. Of places on the Earth that have produced things which have made my life better, Manchester is right at the top of the fucking list.

This blog, originally named Shakespeare's Sister, is a Virginia Woolf reference coming by way of a Smiths song—a Manchester band. The last X Sentence on Page Y we did, mine was from the autobiography of a Manchester United player—a football team I love so much that an old photo from one of their matches hangs in my living room. Davy Jones was from Manchester—a member of The Monkees, the first concert I ever saw. James, a band I love so much that I own a jacket on which I painted their iconic daisy, is from Manchester. Joy Division. New Order. Oasis. The Happy Mondays. Simply Red. Swing Out Sister. Inspiral Carpets. The Ting Tings...

That this heinous act was carried out in Manchester, at a music concert, is unbearable. Not that it would have been any less so anywhere else. It's just the particular symbolism of hitting this particular town in this particular way. Fuck.

I don't know how to end this, so I'll just end it by linking to this: "Our response will be to try to contain the blast, by showing that the overwhelming majority of people remain kind, decent, and big-hearted. This is not a platitude. It is a political response."

My heart is with you, Manchester. On this day and always.

[NOTE: Please feel welcome and encouraged to share updates and additional information in comments. As always following such an event, let's keep this an image-free thread. Thanks.]

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