Manchester bombing: Mancunians shut down EDL rally after terror attack

Local people showed spirit as they condemned the protest

Rachael Revesz
Tuesday 23 May 2017 21:22 BST
Manchester attack: What we know so far

Mancunians were quick to condemn a group of English Defence League protesters following the deadly explosion which killed 22 people and injured more than 59 others.

Men carrying English flags protested outside the Arndale Shopping Centre in the city centre, which had been evacuated earlier that day.

Local people who opposed the extreme right-wing protest outnumbered those of the EDL.

Footage captured by Reuters showed a man shouting at the protesters by the shopping centre.

“The people of Manchester don’t stand with your xenophobia and racism,” he said.

“The people of Manchester are going to stick together, no matter what religion you follow, no matter what the colour of the skin is. We’re not going to stand with people like you.

“We’re going to stick together, because together we are stronger and the people of Manchester are not going to be afraid of who is responsible for this violence.”

A police officer can be heard accusing the protesters of “aggravating”, but his words were drowned out by the man who stood up to the EDL.

The extremist group released a statement after the explosion, advertising their next protest in Liverpool in June, and vowed to “stand up to Islamism”.

“We are asking for your courage, the courage to say and do what must be done to prevent future Islamic atrocities and intimidation across the UK,” it stated.

Around five hours after the explosion, a suspected arson attack was carried out against a mosque in Oldham. Police confirmed to The Independent that nobody was inside the building at the time.

Families are still trying to locate their loved ones who may not have returned home after a concert. At around 10.30pm, as people were piling through the exits, a nail bomb exploded in the foyer between the stadium and Victoria Station, causing mass confusion and chaos.

A total of 12 children under the age of 16 were taken to hospital.

An eight-year-old girl, Saffie Rose Roussos, was confirmed to be the youngest victim.

Greater Manchester Police are treating the explosion as a terrorist attack and named the attacker as Salman Abedi, a British man, who killed himself during the attack.

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