Unprecedented moves taken to brace UK for “critical” terror threat
EFFORTS to help those affected by the attack on the Manchester Arena have continued with a new Red Cross fund as the state took the unprecedented step of placing the UK on “critical” terror alert.
Crowds gathered in cities across the UK in a show of solidarity in the face of the apparent suicide bombing at a pop concert on Monday night (22 May), which has killed 22 and left a further 59 injured.
Victims of the attack include eight year old Saffie Roussos, 15 year old Olivia Campbell and 28 year old John Atkinson. Some are still trying to find family members.
The British Red Cross, which has deployed its services alongside the state emergency services, has established a fund with Manchester City Council (MCC) to supply emergency financial aid to those affected by the tragedy.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Eddy Newman, said: “The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund has been established to swiftly provide funds to the families of victims of the attack at the Manchester Arena, to help them to cope at this incredibly difficult time.”
Funds will be used in place of wages for those unable to work, to make changes to homes in case of disability, and to pay for physical and psychological rehabilitation costs among other forms of aid.
Crowds of thousands gathered in Manchester’s Albert Square and held a five minutes silence, followed by a poem by local poet Tony Walsh, preaching unity and “love” in the face of horror.
It is not known whether the chief suspect for the bombing, Manchester born Salman Abedi, acted alone or as part of a network – prompting the raising of the terror threat level to critical by joint security chiefs in the UK’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre.
Hundreds of armed troops have been deployed around the UK. Police across the UK and in Scotland remain on heightened alert.
Political parties have maintained the suspension of national campaigning for the General Election on 8 May.
Picture: Facebook/ Mark Dee Smith
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