Manchester Arena attack: Events mark fourth anniversary

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Top row (left to right): Alison Howe, Martyn Hett, Lisa Lees, Courtney Boyle, Eilidh MacLeod, Elaine McIver, Georgina Callander, Jane Tweddle - Middle row (left to right): John Atkinson, Kelly Brewster, Liam Curry, Chloe Rutherford, Marcin Klis, Angelika Klis, Megan Hurley, Michelle Kiss - Bottom row (left to right): Nell Jones, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, Philip Tron, Saffie-Rose Roussos, Sorrell Leczkowski, Wendy FawellImage source, Family handouts
Image caption,
Twenty-two people died in the 2017 attack

Commemorations to mark the fourth anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack have been held in the city.

Twenty-two people were killed in a suicide bombing following an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.

Services were held at Manchester Cathedral, where bells were tolled at 22:31 BST to mark the moment of the attack.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham thanked local people for "confronting adversity with great humanity".

The victims, among them six children, were killed by Manchester-born Salman Abedi, 22, who detonated his rucksack bomb as concertgoers were leaving the venue.

Hundreds of people were injured.

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Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said the city would "never forget the terrible events of 22 May 2017, nor the moving way the city came together to express solidarity with all those affected by the attack and a determination not to give in to hatred".

Survivors' tales of healing and hope

Media caption,

Millie Tomlinson and Louise Murray were both directly affected

Millie Tomlinson, who was 17 at the time of the blast, is now a university student who is "determined about getting good grades and being able to do what I want to do".

She said she was "a different me" after the bomb and added: "I think the different me is a better version because now I've got such a resilience."

Concert steward Usman Ahmed, who helped those who were hurt, said he had been "really inspired" by Martin Hibbert - one of the injured survivors closest to the blast.

Mr Hibbert has set up a network to help people struggling with what they saw on the night.

"After meeting him, I thought there is light at the end of the tunnel," Mr Ahmed said.

Due to coronavirus rules, commemorations were restricted this year, and the leaving of flowers or other tributes were "politely discouraged" by the city council.

Manchester Cathedral was open for prayer and the lighting of candles.

The bells of St Ann's Church, where flowers were left after the attack, were also tolled on Saturday night.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The attack happened at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017

Work has started on the Glade of Light memorial, between the cathedral and the arena, which will become the focus of future commemorations following its completion later this year.

The bomber's brother, Hashem Abedi, was jailed in 2020 for a minimum of 55 years over his role.

A public inquiry into the background of the attack is being held in Manchester.

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