ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Manchester attack

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom -- The Islamic State group says one of its members planted bombs in the middle of crowds in Manchester, England, where 22 people died in an explosion.

Police, however, have spoken only of "an improvised device" used in the attack.

IS says "a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings" then detonated them. It did not say whether the attacker was killed.

The group claimed that "30 Crusaders were killed and 70 others were wounded," higher than the totals confirmed by authorities in Manchester

A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the suicide bombing attack at Manchester Arena. Investigators in the UK tweeted about the arrest Tuesday.

The first victim to be identified is Georgina Callander, a second-year student at Runshaw College in Leyland, England. In a statement on the school's Facebook page, the school said Callander was part of the Health and Social Care course.

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At this time, none of the other victims have been identified.

The chief constable in Manchester said the presumed attacker died at the scene, and carried an improvised explosive device that he detonated outside the concert hall.

Prime Minister Theresa May called the incident an "appalling terrorist attack," and announced an emergency COBRA cabinet committee meeting Tuesday morning.

President Trump, out of the country for his first trip abroad as president, bemoaned the loss of life at the hands of "evil losers in life."

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Grande, who had just finished performing when the explosion occurred, described her feelings in just one word on Twitter: "broken."

First Lady of the United States Melania Trump also turned to the social media platform to extend condolences for the lives lost.

Police said six hospitals were treating patients after the explosion tore through the box office area of Manchester Arena around 10:33 p.m., right in the heart of the city.

The North West Ambulance Service said 60 vehicles were needed to transport the victims.

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Patients were taken to Salford Royal, Manchester Royal Infirmary, North Manchester General Hospital, St. Mary's Royal Oldham Hospital, and two other facilities that were not identified.

Families and teens who were at the concert expressed dismay the morning after the deadly blast.

Frantic loved ones of young people missing after the concert turned to social media with pleas for help. Meanwhile, many residents in Manchester responded by offering shelter and details of where displaced people were taken after the concert.
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"I have a sofa, floor, blankets and tea, 5 minutes from Arena for anyone in need #RoomForManchester," wrote one user. A local Holiday Inn was offering up rooms for those affected and reportedly helping reunite children with their parents.

Taxi cabs offered free rides after the explosion for those needing to return home, or for families seeking rides to local hospitals to look for loved ones.

Campaigning was suspended in the UK general election after the explosion, with Theresa May and liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron cancelling campaign events.

The bombing could become the deadliest terror incident in the UK since the 2005 7/7 bombings that killed 52 people. The incident also coincided with the four-year anniversary of the killing of British Army soldier Lee Rigby in London.

This is not the first time Manchester has seen such disturbing events unfold. Back in 1996, a truck bomb ripped through the center of the city during the Euro 1996 soccer final. The IRA claimed responsibility for the blast that injured 212 people.

In the U.S., the State Department said it was monitoring these events closely and would make services available for any Americans killed or injured.

Senior U.S. officials told ABC News that Americans may see additional security measures visible here at home at key locations. They typically involve transportation hubs, landmarks and tourist attractions.

Facebook has activated a safety check for attendees of the event. Click here to view the Facebook page.

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