African leaders have been condemning the terrorist act that hit the Manchester Arena in northern England.
Current figures indicate that the at least 22 people, including children, have been killed in the suicide bomb attack.
Another 59 people have been reported injured in the explosion which happened at the end of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande, around 10:30 pm on Monday.
Africa stands with the people and government of the United Kingdom in reaffirming our solidarity with them during this difficult time.
Africa’s condemnation was led by the African Union (AU) Commission chief, Moussa Ahmed Faki who tweeted his views (condemnation and consolation) early on Tuesday morning.
‘‘Africa stands with the people and government of the United Kingdom in reaffirming our solidarity with them during this difficult time,’‘ his final tweet read. Governments of Kenya, Somalia and South Africa have all officially reacted to the attack.
Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, in his message of condolence said his country as allies and partners of the UK will continue to support her in the fight against extremism. ‘‘Our hearts go out to the U.K., and especially to the families which have woken to devastating news this morning,’‘ he added.
South Africa issues statement
“On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma extends his heartfelt condolences to the people of the United Kingdom, in particular, the families and loved ones of the deceased and wish the injured speedy recoveries. Acts of violence and extremism have no place in society and constitute a threat to peace, security and development.
“The South African government condemns in the strongest terms terrorist attacks in any form and from whichever quarter and in particular, against innocent children and youth,” said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
The Somali government also added their voice to the condemnation and pledged support to the UK government, ‘‘UK is resilient and will overcome,’‘ the statement read in part. Ugandan opposition leader, Kizza Besigye also sent out his condolences.
Our thoughts and prayers with all victims of Manchester attack. #UK has stood by us and we are ready to stand by our friends.— Villa Somalia (@TheVillaSomalia) May 23, 2017
My sympathy & prayers go to the families of the dead &injured victims of the terrorist attack. https://t.co/jQ4bdkV1DE— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 23, 2017
Police details on the attack
UK police say the attacker detonated an improvised explosive device and died at the scene. Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack, making it the deadliest assault in Britain since the London transport bombings in July 2005.
Panic and chaos followed the blast as thousands of mainly teenage fans tried to escape the arena. Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and has a capacity for 21,000 people, according to its website. It is a popular concert and sporting venue.
“It happened so quickly. It was really scary” https://t.co/uM1vulqxzK— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) May 23, 2017
“It was a huge explosion – you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and trying to get out,” said one witness. It appears to have been centered on the arena’s box office.
“We believe, at this stage, the attack last night was conducted by one man,” Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters.
“The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity.”