Manchester bombing: Ten remain in critical condition

Queen condemns ‘wicked’ attack during hospital visit as eight still in custody

A vigil to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, at the nearby St Ann’s Square in Manchester on Wednesday. Photograph: New York Times

A vigil to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, at the nearby St Ann’s Square in Manchester on Wednesday. Photograph: New York Times

 

Five adults and five children remain in critical condition following the bombing at the Manchester Arena on Monday, in which 22 people were killed.

Prof Bob Pearson, medical director of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, said 18 adults and 14 children injured in the blast remained in hospital.

They were among the 75 people admitted across eight hospitals in the region.

Queen Elizabeth condemned the “wicked” attack on Manchester Arena as she joined young victims at their hospital bedside.

Medics, who battled to save the lives of children caught up in the atrocity, told the queen as she toured the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital how they worked tirelessly through the night.

She told Evie Mills (14) and her parents: “It’s dreadful. Very wicked. To target that sort of thing.”

The queen expressed her shock at the targeting of young victims, telling a member of staff: “The awful thing was that everyone was so young. The age of them.”

Earlier, two men were arrested by counter-terror police in Greater Manchester in connection with the attack, bringing the number in UK custody to eight.

One of the men was detained following searches of an address in the Withington area of the city, while another was arrested in a part of Greater Manchester that was not disclosed.

A woman arrested in the Blackley area of Manchester on Wednesday has been released without charge.

The investigation into the Manchester Arena atrocity has continued apace as security agencies swooped on the suicide bomber’s suspected “network”.

On Wednesday, a series of raids were executed across Manchester, Wigan and Nuneaton, Warwickshire, while relatives of bomber Salman Abedi were detained in Libya.

Explosion

In the early hours of Thursday morning, counter-terror police carried out a controlled explosion at a property in the Moss Side area of Manchester, although no arrests were reported by police.

In the Libyan capital of Tripoli, security forces arrested the bomber’s father, Ramadan Abedi, as well as his younger brother, Hashem Abedi. Libyan officials said that Hashem knew about the planned attack.

Network

Further arrests in Britain appear likely as security officials race to roll up the network around Abedi, who claimed the lives of 22 people in a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night, with dozens more wounded.

About 1,000 troops were also deployed on British streets to guard public buildings, freeing up armed officers so they could assist with the spreading investigation, the day after prime minister Theresa May raised the UK’s terror threat level to critical.

Police said relatives of all those killed had been informed and specialist officers were supporting them. Some families issued statements describing their loss.

Relatives of Michelle Kiss, a mother of three from Lancashire, said she had been taken in the “most traumatic way imaginable”.“We hope to draw from the courage and strength she showed in her life to get through this extremely difficult time,” they said.

Meanwhile, both Labour and the Conservatives indicated that campaigning in the general election is set to restart in earnest on Friday with some local campaigning starting on Wednesday, when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn discussed with the prime minister the issue of when to return to the campaign trail. There was a nationwide one-minute silence at 11am on Thursday.

Guardian Service and agencies