Manchester Arena attack: City remembers victims of suicide bomb five years on

·3-min read

Manchester has been remembering the 22 victims of the arena bombing five years on from the terrorist attack.

People have been paying their respects at events across the city to those who died in the 2017 suicide blast, which also left more than a thousand others injured as they left an Ariana Grande concert.

A minute's silence has been held at Victoria station, which is next to the arena, and prayers were being held throughout the day at Manchester Cathedral.

The cathedral's bells tolled at 10.31pm to mark the moment of the attack, which happened as mainly youngsters were leaving the venue.

Thousands taking part in the Great Manchester Run clapped in memory of those killed, while people were also encouraged to visit the new Glade of Light memorial, which was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier this month.

Helping to start the race as well as taking part was attack survivor Freya Lewis, 19, who learned to walk again after being seriously injured in the bombing.

Ms Lewis, whose best friend Nell Jones, then 14, was killed, was running in aid of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity.

Read more: The missed opportunities to stop the Manchester bomber

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham shared pictures of the Glade Of Light memorial on Twitter and wrote: "Their names forever at the heart of our city.

"Their families and those affected always in our thoughts.

"Our thanks for the goodness and strength of the people of Greater Manchester - eternal."

He was also pictured with a Manchester "worker bee" tattoo on his arm - the symbol of the city.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paid tribute to the victims and said the courage shown by people in Manchester in the days following the attack had "touched the world".

He said: "Like the country my thoughts are with the victims, families and friends of all those affected by the cowardly attack on Manchester Arena five years ago today.

"This was an act of terrorism against the freedoms we all hold dear, but as the people of Manchester demonstrated so courageously in the days that followed, hatred will never win.

"The bravery and defiance shown by Mancunians touched the world and just as we remember all those taken from us, we must remember and celebrate that triumph of love and community."

Labour leader Keir Starmer wrote: "Today we remember the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, which left thousands injured and 22 innocent lives lost.

"My thoughts are with their loved ones and the people of Manchester. Your strength showed that hatred will never prevail."

It was five years ago that Manchester-born Salman Abedi, 22, surrounded by a throng of youngsters and parents waiting to collect them in the foyer of the arena following an Ariana Grande concert, detonated his shrapnel-packed rucksack bomb.

Six children were among the 22 killed.

Those who died were, Saffie-Rose Roussos, aged eight, from Preston; Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, from Leeds; Eilidh MacLeod, 14, from the Isle of Barra; Nell Jones, 14, from Cheshire, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, from Bury; Megan Hurley, 15, from Liverpool; Georgina Callander, 18, from Hesketh Bank; Liam Curry, 19, and Chloe Rutherford, 17, both from South Shields; Courtney Boyle, 19, and Philip Tron, 32, from Gateshead; John Atkinson, 28, from Manchester; Martyn Hett, 29, from Stockport; Kelly Brewster, 32, from Sheffield; Angelika Klis, 39, and Marcin Klis, 42, from York; Elaine McIver, 43, from Cheshire; Michelle Kiss, 45, from Whalley, Lancs; Alison Howe, 44, and Lisa Lees, 43, both from Oldham; Wendy Fawell, 50, from Otley and Jane Tweedle, 51, from Blackpool.

The bomber's younger brother, Hashem, was jailed for at least 55 years for his part in the attack.

An independent public inquiry into the bombing is due to publish its final reports later this year.

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