(LONDON) — A man has been arrested on suspicion of "terrorism offenses" after a man with a knife stabbed three people in a busy shopping center in Manchester, England.
The suspect, a man in his 40s, has been arrested in connection with the multiple stabbings at the Arndale Center on Friday morning. Video footage circulated on social media showed the purported suspect being arrested by police officers armed with stun guns. He was initially arrested at the scene on suspicion of "serious assault," although the incident is now suspected to be terror-related.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson told reporters that the man had been arrested on “suspicion of terrorism offenses” but they do not believe there is a wider threat at this time, describing the incident as an “awful attack.”
“Specialist officers are continuing to respond to an incident at the Arndale shopping centre in #Manchester city centre," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement. "In these early stages we are keeping an open mind about the motivation of this terrible incident and the circumstances as we know them. Given the location of the incident and its nature officers from Counter Terrorism Police North West are leading the investigation as we determine the circumstances. A man in his 40s – who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of serious assault – remains in custody for questioning.”
In total five people were injured in the attack, with two women and a man are being treated in hospital with stab wounds. The condition of the two women being treated with "stab injuries" is described as "stable," while the man is being treated with "stab wounds," police said. A fourth woman, who was not stabbed, was treated by paramedics on the scene, and was deemed to not require hospital treatment.
Police are now appealing for footage and images of the incident on social media.
The investigation is looking into "what the man said" during the incident to determine whether the stabbings were terror-related, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his "shock" and praised the response of the emergency services in the aftermath of the attack.
"Shocked by the incident in Manchester and my thoughts are with the injured and all those affected," he said in a tweet. "Thank you to our excellent emergency services who responded and who are now investigating what happened."
Earlier this year a police officer was among three people stabbed on New Year's Eve in Manchester, England, in what authorities investigated as a "terrorist incident." The city was also the site of a suicide bombing at at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017, which left 22 killed and 59 injured.
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