8-Year-Old Girl Among Victims of Ariana Grande Concert Blast
An 8-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos, was one of the Ariana Grande fans killed in a bomb blast at the pop star’s concert in Manchester, England on Monday night. A current total of 22 people died after a 23-year-old suicide bomber with links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group detonated a bomb in the box office area of Manchester Arena as music fans left the venue following the concert. Saffie Roussos’ mother was among the 50-plus people injured in the explosion. This figure included 12 victims under the age of 16, according to reports. ISIS officials claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber died at the scene, according to British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said, “We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage.” Grande, who was not injured in the blast, has tweeted: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.” Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II marked the tragedy by calling for a moment of silence on Tuesday afternoon to honor the victims of the blast. She joined her husband Prince Philip, her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at the steps of Buckingham Palace in London as the national anthem played. The Queen’s grandson Prince William has released a statement, which reads: “Like everyone, (wife) Catherine, (brother) Harry and I are left shocked and saddened by the tragedy that unfolded in Manchester overnight. Hundreds of friends, parents, children and partners are confronting unimaginable grief today, and we send our thoughts to them all. “We also send our thanks to the people of Manchester for their display of strength, decency, and community that is an example to the world. Our continued thoughts are with the victims and their families of this senseless act of violence.” Officials at the Cannes Film Festival in France also observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the bomb blast on Tuesday. French actress Isabelle Huppert joined festival director Thierry Fremaux and his staff for the salute. Fremaux has called the bombing an “attack on culture, youth and joyfulness.” “The people who were there last night at that music concert were doing exactly what we are doing here at Cannes… being together, rejoicing in the freedom to love and sharing their passion,” he noted. Colin Farrell, who is the star of two films in competition at Cannes, told Reuters the explosion was “an attack against humanity and it’s an attack against society and it’s an attack against the hearts and lives and minds of innocent people.” Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, who is currently on a tour of the Middle East, has called the people behind the bombing “evil losers,” adding, “This wicked ideology must be obliterated.” Bands like Blondie and Take That have postponed Tuesday night gigs in England as a mark of respect to those killed in the bombing, but acclaimed country star Brent Cobb has refused to cancel his Tuesday night gig in Manchester. He has taken to Facebook to assure fans his concert at the city’s Deaf Institute will go ahead as scheduled. “Dear Manchester, After much consideration, we’ve decided tonight’s show at The Deaf Institute will go on,” he writes. “While we do not want to be insensitive to your tragedy, we also refuse to let terrorism win. Our hearts break for your loss and we will be there with you tonight to mourn and help heal.”
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