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Counter terror police investigating after knifeman runs amok in Manchester

A man in his 40s has been arrested after five people were stabbed at the Arndale Centre on Friday.

Police outside the Arndale Centre in Manchester (Peter Byrne/P{A)
Police outside the Arndale Centre in Manchester (Peter Byrne/P{A)

By PA Reporters

Counter terror police are investigating after a man launched a knife attack on members of the public at a Manchester shopping centre.

Five people were taken to hospital with stab injuries following the attack at the Arndale Centre at around 11.15am on Friday.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “We can confirm that five people have been stabbed and taken to hospital.

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Police running through the Arndale Centre (@GrizzleMarine/P{A)

“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.”

Social media posts showed a large number of officers at the scene.

North West Ambulance Service said it attended after being called at 11.17am to a stabbing incident.

The service refused to give details on the severity of the injuries.

A shop worker, who gave his name only as Jordan, 23, told the PA news agency: “A man was running around with a knife lunging at multiple people, one of which came into my store visibly shaken with a small graze.

“Soon after, security staff told all retail staff to close their doors and move the public to the back of the stores.”

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Armed police at the scene (Peter Byrne/PA)

Jordan, who has only been working at the centre for a few months, said the attack took place on the ground floor.

Freddie Houlder, 22, from Market Drayton was in the Arndale Centre when he heard “a load of screams just outside” the shop he was in.

He said a woman then came into the shop and told others “a guy just ran past the shop and tried to stab me”.

Mr Houlder added: “Luckily she had quite a thick jacket – she thought originally it was a fake knife because of how easily it grazed off but police came in and said it was a real knife and she burst in to tears.”

He said he was evacuated several minutes later at which point he saw “a bunch of curtains covering someone seriously injured or dead, I don’t know”.

“I definitely don’t think it was gang violence because this guy was going around trying to stab random people, I believe.”

PA

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