Children and teenagers were among the 22 who died after an explosion during an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena last night.
A further 59 people have been injured.
An update from a police press conference this morning indicates that the attacker was one man, who died after detonating the explosive device.
They are investigating whether the suicide bomber acted alone or was part of a larger network.
This is the police statement in full – and the most accurate information we have so far on the incident:
“This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see.
Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives. Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones. We continue to do all we can to support them. They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.
This is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see across Greater Manchester as they wake up to news of the events last night. This will include armed officers as people would expect. More than 400 officers have been involved in the operation during the night.
To remind you, we were called at 10.33pm to reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert. More than 250 calls came in and emergency services were very quickly on scene. Emergency numbers have been established for anyone who is concerned for loved ones who may not have returned home: 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900.
We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe that while the attack last night was conducted by one man, the priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.
The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity.
We would ask people not to speculate on his details or to share names. There is a complex and wide-ranging investigation under way.
Our priority is to work with the national counter-terrorist policing network and UK intelligence services to establish more details about the individual who carried out this attack.”
Ariana Grande, who was not injured in the attack, tweeted the following after hearing of the deaths and casualties:
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, told BBC Radio 4 it was “hard to imagine” a worse time for the city, but that it had mobilised to help survivors in the wake of the attack.
“I’ve heard lots of stories about how the broader Manchester community has opened up – free taxi rides, offers of accommodation, all the things that a good community will do to try and support in what is going to be the worst possible moment in their lives,” Leese said.
“I think that has to be part of the story. It is a tragedy, the loss of life is truly appalling, but as a city, as a community, we will continue to pull together, and we will not allow ourselves to be beaten.
We don’t know what the cause is yet. Clearly there is lots of supposition taking place. But this is not something that we are going to allow to beat us as a Manchester community.”
Meanwhile, MPs announced that they would pause campaigning ahead of the General Election today.
The Metropolitan Police has confirmed it will be putting extra officers out on the streets of London today.
Met Police / Cressida Dick statement: pic.twitter.com/8d9FVje73j
— Ross Kempsell (@rosskempsell) May 23, 2017
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan labelled the attack in Manchester “Barbaric” and said he was in constant communication with the Met over the safety of Londoners today.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) May 23, 2017
World leaders have paid their tributes to the victims and families of Manchester, and declared their solidarity with the UK.
President Donald Trump branded the terrorist responsible as an “evil loser”.
“I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured… and to the so many families of the victims,” he said. “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom
“So many young beautiful and innocent people living and enjoying their lives, murdered… by evil losers in life.”
According to The Independent, several fans who were at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester claim they were not searched on the way into the Arena.
Last updated at 09.30am.