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Xi: Deep sadness for Manchester

By By Chris Peterson in London and Zhang Yunbi in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-24 07:29

Xi: Deep sadness for Manchester

A woman places flowers on Tuesday for victims of Monday night's Manchester Arena bombing attack. Darren Staples / Reuters

President sends sympathy over blast that killed 22, including children

President Xi Jinping was among world leaders who sent condolences to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II over the deadly explosion in Manchester that killed 22 and injured more than 50 on Monday night.

Xi expressed deep sadness on Tuesday for those who died and offered sympathy to the relatives. At this difficult moment, the Chinese people firmly stand by the British people, Xi said.

Premier Li Keqiang also sent a message of condolence to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday.

A suicide bomber triggered an improvised explosive device in the midst of a crowd of young pop fans and their parents at Manchester Arena as US pop star Ariana Grande finished a sellout show. Manchester medical staff said 12 children under 16 were among the 59 hurt. The dead included an eight-year-old girl.

Chinese consular officials in Manchester said there had been no casualties reported among the Chinese community, although some Chinese students had been at the concert.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility on Tuesday through its social media channels.

Manchester police said the bomber was killed in the attack. They later said they had arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack but gave no further details.

Xi: Deep sadness for Manchester

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip observe a minute's silence to honour the victims of the attack on Manchester Arena at the start of a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London, May 23, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

It was an attack that "shocked" the nation, said the queen, who offered her "deepest sympathy" to the victims.

May said police believed they knew the attacker's identity but were withholding it.

"This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice," May said. "We struggle to understand the warped and twisted mind that would bring carnage to young children. Terrorists will never win - our country and our way of life will always prevail."

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