Newspaper headlines: 'Young lives stolen by terror'

Image caption Some of the victims of the Manchester bombing

The aftermath of the terror attack in Manchester and the faces of those killed or unaccounted for dominate the front pages of Wednesday's papers.

Monday night's youngest victim, eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, is the most prominent, pictured smiling alongside headlines of "pictures of innocence, killed by evil" and "evil beyond belief".

The Times has spoken to a schoolfriend of suspected attacker Salman Abedi, who confirmed he had recently visited Libya and returned to the UK only a few days ago. The paper says police and intelligence agencies are trying to establish whether Abedi had received terrorist training at a jihadist camp there.

Security sources told the paper their "number one priority" was working out who made the device, saying it was difficult to believe Abedi had carried out this "sophisticated" bomb attack without significant support.

Despite the suspect being known to the security services, he was not a part of any active investigation and regarded as a peripheral figure says the Guardian.

Intelligence chiefs will be looking into information Abedi had gone to Syria for training while in the area, reports the Sun. The paper says it is also believed he was in London during the day on Monday taking last-minute instructions.

The tabloid is among many papers calling for government action to prevent further attacks. It says security services must be given the resources and manpower to monitor suspects, social media organisations must no longer give terrorists safe space in which to plot and renewed efforts to combat extremism in Muslim communities.

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Amidst the horror and chaos of Monday night, the papers also emphasise the many acts of selflessness and kindness shown to those in distress.

The i highlights the courage of a homeless man, Chris Parker. When he heard the explosion, instead of fleeing, he headed into the arena to help.

Accounts of cafes providing free drinks for the emergency services and members of the public bringing shopping bags of food to the Etihad Stadium where children were sheltering are told in the Daily Telegraph.

Writing in the paper, the former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs expresses his pride in a city which has pulled together in adversity.


A number of papers carry a powerful picture of the scene in the foyer of the Manchester Arena shortly after the bomber struck. The grainy image shows bodies lying on the floor with police, paramedics and concert-goers doing what they can for the injured.

One mother has told the Sun of the moment she claims she watched the bomber blow himself up. Emma Johnson, a teaching administrator from Preston, was among those waiting for their children in the foyer of the Manchester Arena when she saw a man in a red vest acting suspiciously.

She noticed he appeared to have a large raised zipper on his front and she remembered thinking "what a bizarre thing to wear". A split second later, there was a huge flash and an explosion.

As well as the graphic eye witness accounts of the chaos and horror of that night, the papers also focus on the plight of those who still don't know what has happened to their loved ones.

The Daily Mail says dozens of shocked relatives have been scouring hospitals and hotels in the hope of tracing their last movements. It says some of the parents, who were waiting for their children, have also never been seen again.


Military personnel will be deployed to protect key sites after Theresa May raised the UK's terror threat level to "critical" and the Telegraph reports up to 5,000 soldiers could be on our streets.

During her announcement after a meeting of Cobra, the government's crisis response committee, the prime minister said investigators were working to find out if Abedi was part of a wider network of terrorists.

The Telegraph says intelligence experts believe the device was so sophisticated that he must have either been given specialist training abroad or used a bomb made by a specialist technician who is still at large.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, columnist Allison Pearson dismissed attitudes where people were encouraging others to keep calm and carry on in the wake of the blast. Why should we be calm, she argues, when our children are considered a legitimate target for mass murder?

She calls on the government to take "drastic action", saying public safety must have a higher priority than the civil liberties of suspected terrorists.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Roger Moore, who played the famous spy in seven Bond films, has died

Stepping away from Manchester, tributes for Sir Roger Moore are littered throughout the papers after his death was announced on Tuesday. The James Bond actor died after a short battle with cancer at the age of 89.

The Daily Mail says that no other actor had such a narrow range yet did so much with it to such effect. The Telegraph agrees and says Moore had no worries about being typecast as Bond, unlike other actors who have played the role.

"You're always going to be associated with somebody," he said, "you may as well be associated with a success".

He may not have been the best James Bond, says the Times, but he was undoubtedly the most endearing actor to play the role. With his clean-cut looks, twinkling blue eyes and perfect teeth he delivered his lines in a creamy voice and with a lazy drawl that belied a polished technique.

He offered, the paper says, considerably more than his famous raised eyebrow.

Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian says that while Sean Connery's Bond was feared and admired, the Roger Moore Bond was loved, as was he.