Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Manchester attack: Police find 'significant' car, evacuate residents

Police investigating the Manchester suicide bombing have evacuated an area of the city after finding a car which they say "may be significant to the investigation".

Greater Manchester Police said a 100 metre cordon was in place after the vehicle was found in Devell Court in Rusholme.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: "This is potentially a significant development in the investigation."

Police said the Royal Manchester Infirmary remained open but people had been evacuated from Ronald McDonald House, which provides accommodation for families of patients at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Officers at the scene are assessing the car, which is a white Nissan Micra.

Mr Jackson said: "We are very interested in anything people can tell us about the movements of this car, and who was in it, over the past months.

"We are also interested in any information about who may have had access to the car or who may have gone to and from it."

Students were evacuated from flats on Wilmslow Road as police cordoned off the nearby streets to assess the car.

Mariam Bashat, 20, said: "We were going out anyway and police told us we couldn't go back in because everyone was being evacuated.

"I think they are getting people out of there section by section."

She estimated about 1,000 students live in the Wilmslow Park apartment block.

Other residents said officers banged on their doors and told them to leave immediately.

Laura Patterson, 21, said she had been in the nearby Wetherspoon's pub when people were told to leave.

She said: "The pub was full and one of the staff just told us it was being evacuated."

The development came as the Duke of Cambridge visited Greater Manchester Police HQ to meet officers who were among the first to respond to the bombing.

CCTV images have been released showing suicide bomber Salman Abedi hauling a blue suitcase in the days leading up to the Manchester Arena terror attack, which killed 22 people including seven children.

Police had been trying to establish why Abedi went to the Banff Road area in Rusholme, where the car was found.

Meanwhile, Abedi's cousins have claimed the 22-year-old plotted "secretly to himself" before the atrocity on May 22.

Brothers Isaac and Abz Forjani, who were arrested by armed police soon after the attack before being released without charge, said they had been left "traumatised" by their cousin's actions.

Abz, 21, told the BBC: "For people who have seen it as a big network we were involved in, it was nothing like that.

"I believe it was all done by one man which developed some sort of thoughts in the past few years which he kept secretly to himself.

"He never shared it with any members of the family - if he would have we could have done something to stop that happening."

Isaac, 24, added: "It's not easy being connected to 22 lost, innocent lives.

"The fact that the person that did this is related to us by blood is something that's going to stay with me for the rest of my life.

"My thoughts are with the families of the victims. I really do feel for them."

Ten men, aged between 18 and 44, remain in custody on suspicion of terrorism offences in connection with the attack, police have said.

Six people - including a 15-year-old boy, a 34-year-old woman and four men - have been released without charge.

US pop star Ariana Grande, whose concert was targeted in the attack, has arrived in the UK ahead of a benefit show in Manchester on Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph