In wake of Manchester blast, PH vows cooperation in fighting terror


Posted at May 23 2017 03:48 PM

Armed police officers stand near the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, in northern England, Britain May 23, 2017. Andrew Yates, Reuters

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday sent his sympathies to the victims of a suicide blast in Manchester, England that killed at least 22 people.

“Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte sends his sympathies and concern to the families of the dead and wounded in the Manchester incident; as well as appreciation for the excellent handling by police/security forces,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

“We are in solidarity with the United Kingdom in addressing and combating violent extremism.”

The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs meanwhile said it was seeking confirmation on the condition of Filipinos in England.

At least 22 people, including some children, were killed and 59 wounded when a suicide bomber struck as thousands of fans streamed out of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester on Monday.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack, making it the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005.

Police said the attacker died after detonating explosives shortly after 10:33 pm (5:35 a.m. in Manila) at Manchester Arena, which has the capacity to hold 21,000 people. Children were among the dead, police said.

Ariana Grande, 23, later said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words." – with Reuters