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Manchester attack: UK terror threat level raised to critical and Army to guard 'key sites'

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the terror threat level has been raised to critical - meaning an attack is imminent - and she has asked for the military to be deployed on the streets of the UK in the wake of the Manchester attack.

"I don't want public unduly alarmed, this is a proportionate response," she said in an address on Tuesday evening.

She said armed forces personnel will be visible at "big events" such as football matches and concerts.

Earlier police have identified the suspected Manchester suicide bomber, responsible for killing 22 people including children, was Salman Abedi.

Mrs May continued: "In my statement earlier today, I said that the police and security services needed to investigate whether Abedi was acting alone. Those investigations continue.

"But the work undertaken throughout the day has revealed it is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.

"This morning I said that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, the independent organisation responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of the intelligence available, was keeping the threat level under constant review.

"It has now concluded, on the basis of today's investigations, that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical."

The bomber detonated an improvised explosive device carrying out one of the worst terrorist atrocities in the UK at Manchester Arena on Monday night. Police say 59 people were also injured in the blast which happened at the end of a concert by US pop singer Ariana Grande attended by many children and teenagers, shortly after 10.30pm.

Abedi (22) was born in Manchester. Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said: "The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network."

Thousands attended a vigil in Manchester. There was applause and a show of defiance from the crowd. A small group also gathered outside the gates of Belfast City Hall for a vigil in memory of the victims.

They held posters which said: "We stand together. Manchester."

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