Police are conducting a “terrorism investigation” of the stabbing of three people at a train station on New Year’s Eve in Manchester, northern England.
An unidentied 25-year-old man was been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, Greater Manchester Police said during a media briefing Tuesday. The attack occurred just before 9 p.m. at the Manchester Victoria railway station
“Last night we experienced a horrific attack on people out to simply enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Manchester,” Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said. “My thoughts are with the couple who are still being treated in hospital for their serious injuries and with the brave British Transport Police officer who was also stabbed during the attack.”
A police sergeant in his 30s was stabbed in the shoulder and released from hospital Tuesday.
Two other two victims were in their 50s — a woman with injuries to her face and stomach and a man with injuries to his stomach. They are not considered life threatening.
The suspect lived in the Cheetham Hill area of the city and officers were carrying out a search at his address, Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, of Greater Manchester Police, told reporters. They don’t know if he is a British national.
“There is wide reporting in the press about what the attacker allegedly said during the incident and because of this we want to be clear, we are treating this as a terrorism investigation,” he said.
But he added they are “retaining an open mind in relation to the motivation for this attack,” and there is no proof “to suggest at this time others are involved.”
Two knives were recovered at the scene.
The train station returned to to a “normal pattern,” according to Metrolink in a Twitter post but advised to expect delays.
BBC 5 live producer Sam Clack was an eye witness to the stabbings.
“Just been very close to the most terrifying thing,” Clack tweeted. “Man stabbed in Manchester Victoria station on tram platform. Feet from me, I was close to jumping on the tracks as attacker had long kitchen knife. Totally shaken. This is seriously messed up.”
The suspect shouted “Allah,” which is God in English, during the attack, along with a slogan criticizing Western governments, he said.
“It looked like they were having a fight, but the woman was screaming in this blood-curdling way,” Clack said to the BBC. “I saw police in high-vis come towards him. He came towards me.
“I looked down and saw he had a kitchen knife with a black handle with a good, 12-inch blade. It was just fear, pure fear.”
He said police, who responded quickly, used pepper spray and a Taser to get the man to the ground, “He was very much resisting arrest,” Clack said.
Counter terrorism police were leading the investigation.
Fireworks at Albert Square went on as planned despite the incident, according to the Manchester City Council.
“My thoughts are with those who were injured in the suspected terrorist attack in Manchester last night,” Prime Minister Theresa May posred on Twitter. “I thank the emergency services for their courageous response.
In May 2017, 22 people were killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.
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