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Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(ROME) —  President Trump met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, a highly anticipated first meeting between the two leaders who had previously publicly clashed over immigration politics.

The two held "cordial discussions" which enabled "an exchange of views on various themes relating to international affairs and the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and inter-religious dialogue, with particular reference to the situation in the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities," according to a statement from the Holy See.

"It is hoped that there may be serene collaboration between the State and the Catholic Church in the United States, engaged in service to the people in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants," the statement read.

After their private one-on-one meeting which lasted about 30 minutes, Trump and Pope Francis exchanged gifts in front of reporters and the president's visiting delegation, which included First Lady Melania Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House advisers and the president's son-in-law and daughter, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

The president gave the Pope a case of books by Martin Luther King Jr., while the Pope gave Trump a medal by a Roman artist inscribed with an olive branch.

Francis explained that the branch is a symbol of peace, and Trump replied: "We can use peace."

The Pope also presented Trump with three books he said he sends to all Catholics: one on family, one on the gospel and one on "care of our common home, the environment."

"Well, I'll be reading them," Trump said.

The visit to the Vatican was the third stop of Trump's tour of sites representing three major religions. Over the weekend he stopped in Saudi Arabia, where he delivered an address to Muslim leaders, and Monday through Tuesday he visited Israel and the West Bank and met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Trump and Francis certainly had differences to potentially iron out during their meeting. In February 2016, the pontiff remarked on then-candidate Trump's key proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it was un-Christian.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges is not Christian," Francis said.

Trump responded with a statement calling Francis' remarks "disgraceful."

"No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man's religion or faith." Trump said. "They're using the pope as a pawn, and they should be ashamed of themselves — that's the Mexican government — they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant and so dangerous and so bad for the United States."

Also, Trump and Francis have staked out different approaches to climate change, and their meeting comes as Trump weighs whether to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which he promised to cancel within his first 100 days in office.

Asked recently what he expected from his meeting with Trump, given their differing views, Francis replied, "I will tell him what I think. He will tell me what he thinks. But I never wanted to judge someone before I listen to the person first."


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Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(MANCHESTER, England) — Three arrests have been made in connection with Monday's deadly explosion in Manchester that killed 22 people and injured more than 50 others at one of Europe's largest and most well-known arenas, U.K. authorities said Wednesday.

The suspects were apprehended in south Manchester early Wednesday morning, according to the Greater Manchester Police.

Police previously announced that they had arrested a 23-year-old man on Tuesday in connection with the attack, which ISIS has claimed responsibility for.

The arrests announcement came a day after Prime Minister Theresa May increased the country's threat level to critical -- the highest of the U.K.'s five threat levels -- indicating that another attack could be imminent.

Monday's explosion, which occurred in the Manchester Arena's foyer after an Ariana Grande concert ended, killed 22 people and injured 64 others. Several children were seriously injured in the attack, and an eight-year old child was among the dead.

Authorities on Tuesday identified Salman Abedi, 22, as the suspected suicide bomber behind the fatal explosion, but they are still trying to determine if he acted as a part of a group.

Separately on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police Service said that the public should expect to "see more armed officers" patrolling the streets in response to the elevated terrorist threat levels.

"The public will see more armed officers, working alongside their neighborhood and specialist colleagues on proactive operations and targeted patrols, both on foot and in vehicles," MPS said in a statement early on Wednesday.

The service said it would "continually change" the number of officers deployed as well as the officer's posts and tactics in an attempt to avoid predictability.

"The reality is that we must be prepared to be able to respond to and deal with armed and deadly attackers, so we must be in a position to respond with firearms officers who will use force to stop those attackers in their aim," MPS Commander Jane Connors said in the statement. "That is why is we have increased the number of firearms who are on duty, both out walking and in roaming patrols, at fixed points and carrying out a range of operations."

Amid the security developments, the Ministry of Defense announced that the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace had been cancelled for Wednesday in order to allow police officers to be redeployed.

The Manchester Islamic Center and Didsbury Mosque, which the suspected bomber had been known to attend, issued a statement earlier Wednesday condemning the attack.

"The thoughts and prayers of Manchester Islamic Center is with the victims, their families, their friends and the Manchester community as a whole," the statement read.

In the past, Abedi had attended the mosque with his family, but it was unclear how regularly he attended as of recently.


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ABCNews.com(MANCHESTER, England) -- U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday the threat level in the region has been raised from severe to critical following Monday's attack in Manchester.

Critical is the highest of the five threat levels. Soldiers will now be deployed at public events and police officers responsible for guarding key sites will be replaced by armed military officers. Military officers may also be deployed at key events.

The change indicates that another attack may be imminent.

May said the U.K. could not ignore the possibility that more individuals are linked to the Manchester Arena attack.

The man suspected of carrying out the explosion at an Ariana Grande concert was identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, police said Tuesday. At least 22 people died and more than 50 were injured in the blast.

Abedi died at the scene after using an improvised explosive device, officials said. Police are still trying to determine if he acted alone or was part of a group.

The suspect was originally identified as a 23-year-old male according to a source; police have now said the suspect was 22.

A 23-year-old man has been arrested in South Manchester in connection with the attack, police said. Police also said authorities executed two warrants as part of the investigation: one in the Whalley Range district of Manchester and one in the Manchester suburb of Fallowfield, where a controlled explosion took place.

Greater Manchester Police are requesting dashcam footage from "anyone who was in Manchester city centre" between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday night as part of their investigation.

A 39-year-old man was also arrested in Birmingham Tuesday near a vigil for the attack. The man is "known to police and is thought to have a history of mental ill-health," Birmingham police said in a statement. A small ax and large stick were recovered at the vigil, police said.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the explosion. In a statement translated from Arabic, ISIS said that a "soldier of the caliphate" placed explosives at a gathering of "crusaders" — meaning Christians — at the Manchester Arena. The statement said about 30 people were killed and about 70 more were wounded.

The explosion is being treated as a terrorist attack.

Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to the Manchester Arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. The explosion happened near the arena's foyer after the concert, according to witnesses, who reported hearing a bang as they exited.

An 8-year-old girl named Saffie Rose Roussos is among those killed.

Twelve children under the age of 16 were seriously injured, officials 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," May said Tuesday.

Witness Joseph Harries told ABC News' "Good Morning America" that "people were just trying to get out of the arena as fast as they possibly could after the blast. I was directly in front of the stage at the heart of the arena. I had exactly the same distance to get out of any of the doors."

"I had my best friend with me and I grabbed hold of her wrist and told her never let go of me," Harries said. "We just ran, we jumped over chairs, railings to get out of the doors, we had to force open doors that wouldn’t open because people were trying to get to – the entire capacity of the 20,000 person arena were trying to get out of one exit."

"It felt like an eternity," Harries said, but it "couldn’t have been more than two, three minutes from in our seats to outside of the arena."

The Greater Manchester Police tweeted Tuesday that officials do not believe there are any unaccompanied children at Manchester-area hotels.

A U.S. State Department official told ABC News Tuesday that the "U.S. Embassy in London is working to determine if any U.S. citizens were affected," adding, "at this time, we are not aware of any U.S. citizens killed or injured."

"The whole nation has been shocked," Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement. "I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured."

"I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care," the queen continued. "And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity."

A spokesperson for the Manchester Arena tweeted Tuesday, "Last night, our community suffered a senseless tragedy. Our entire team’s thoughts and focus are now on supporting the people affected and their families.

"We are assisting the police in any way we can. We cannot praise the emergency services enough for their response and have been inspired by the way the people of this great city of Manchester rallied round last night and have continued to respond Tuesday. It shows the very best of this city."

 

pic.twitter.com/a5QUJtwgwp

— Manchester Arena (@ManchesterArena) May 23, 2017

 

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iStock/Thinkstock(MANCHESTER, England) -- The frantic search for clues about Salman Abedi, the suspected Manchester Arena bomber, and his possible connections to ISIS is underway.

Police say they conducted a pair of raids on Tuesday, one in the Whalley Range neighborhood, in which they scoured the suspect’s home, the other in nearby Fallowfield, which police said included a “controlled explosion to enable safe entry.” Authorities also took one man, identified by neighbors as the bomber’s older brother, into custody outside a local grocery store.

The portrait emerging of the alleged bomber, who is believed to have detonated an improvised explosive device that killed him and 22 people and injured more than 50 others outside an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night, is one of a potentially disaffected young man who grew up in an area identified as a hotbed for jihadi recruitment.

Abedi, 22, was described as the son of a family who emigrated from Libya and, according to Robin Simcox, a terrorism and national security analyst at The Heritage Foundation, one of the hundreds of young men known to British counterterrorism authorities as potential threat.

“Abedi was a terrorist suspect in the UK, MI5 were aware of him,” Simcox told ABC News. “They were aware that he posed a potential threat but they didn’t think he posed an imminent threat that he proved himself to do in Manchester.”

A photo of Abedi was first published on the front page of the British newspaper The Sun.

In recent years, Abedi took business classes at the University of Salford in Manchester, where he registered for classes this year, a university spokesperson told ABC News, but hasn’t attended any classes and was not well-known socially.

A senior counterterrorism official told ABC that one reason Abedi may have dropped out of college is because he recently travelled outside the United Kingdom to Libya and possibly other countries, "it seems, to get some skills,” though Syria did not appear to be one of his destinations.

Abedi, the official said, was on the radar of British security officials but time ran out on the surveillance clock without Abedi doing anything nefarious, so authorities apparently moved on. It is unknown, the official added, whether Abedi made the device on his own or if he had help.

Mohammed Saeed, the imam of the local Didsbury Mosque and Islamic Centre, where Abedi sometimes worshipped, told ABC News that Abedi became angry with him after he gave a sermon in 2015 in which he criticized ISIS.

"He was showing me hate, he hated me basically," Saeed said. "I was shocked, shocked and angry. All innocent lives matter.”

The neighborhood, around an area called Moss Side, just a few miles from the concert hall, is considered by police to be a hot bed of ISIS recruitment, according to Dr. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, the research director of the program on extremism at The George Washington University.

“Moss Side is very well known,” Hitchens told ABC News. “A lot of people with petty criminal pasts, involvement in gangs, getting involved instead with ISIS later on.”

According to Matt Olsen, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center and an ABC News contributor, the most pressing questions have yet to be answered.

“The investigators need to focus and are focused on who else may be involved, where did this individual learn to build a device like this, to carry out an attack like this,” Olsen said. “The real question is, is there a cell that goes beyond this individual.”

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Franco Origlia/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- After a history of public disagreements on issues from the border wall to climate change to what it means to be Christian, President Donald Trump and Pope Francis will meet for the first time in person Wednesday morning, at the Vatican.

The public back-and-forth began during the presidential campaign when Pope Francis alluded to Trump in an interview, saying a man who builds walls instead of bridges isn't a man of faith.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian," the pontiff said on Feb. 18 aboard the papal plane.

"This is not the gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote," Pope Francis said. "I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and I will give him the benefit of the doubt."

Trump, who was leading the Republican primary race at the time, responded by saying the pope might regret his statements.

"If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS' ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president," Trump said during an appearance in South Carolina that same day.

Trump went on to argue that the Mexican government was "using the Pope as a pawn" and wrongfully feeding him information.

"That's the Mexican government," he said. "They should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant and so dangerous and so bad for the United States.”

Trump then said he "likes" the pope, but considered his comments "disgraceful."

"For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful," Trump said in a statement released the same day. “I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith.”

The two men started softening their public stances in the lead up to this visit. After it was announced that Trump would be paying the Catholic leader a visit, Pope Francis acknowledged that they may not see eye to eye.

When asked about what he expects from his meeting with Trump, given that they have very different views on immigration and climate change, the pontiff replied that he doesn't want to prejudge the president before he has met with him.

"I will tell him what I think, he will tell me what he thinks, but I never wanted to judge someone before I listen to the person first," the pope said aboard the papal plane on May 13.

The two leaders differ greatly in their views on immigration and climate change. Trump has said he wants to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and has declared climate change to be a "hoax." Pope Francis has written an encyclical, or papal letter, on the environment, in which he calls for global action to combat climate change.

The pope said he won't try to persuade Trump to embrace his views. "I am not a proselytiser," he said.

When asked if he hopes Trump will soften his stance after their meeting, the pope said it's a "political calculus" he cannot afford.

Instead, the Catholic leader said he would be honest and open with Trump and expects to talk about "common things."

"There are always doors that are not completely shut," Pope Francis said. "We need to find the doors that are at least slightly open."

He added that people should say what they think, but "with respect."

For his part, Trump has kept an optimistic tone about the visit.

At an April 20 news conference, Trump said "I look very much forward to meeting the pope."

During his commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy, Trump said that he will "talk with Pope Francis about the contributions of Christian teachings to the world."

Finally, in a weekly video address previewing his foreign trip, Trump described the meeting as a "great honor."

"I look forward to speaking with the pope about how Christian teachings can help put the world on a path to justice, freedom and peace," he said.

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Dave Thompson/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- ISIS has claimed responsibility for an explosion Monday at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people and injured 59 others.

In a statement translated from Arabic, ISIS said that a "soldier of the caliphate" placed explosives at a gathering of "crusaders" -- meaning Christians -- at the Manchester Arena. The statement said about 30 people were killed and about 70 more were wounded.

The man believed to be the lone attacker died at the scene after using an improvised explosive device, officials said, but police are still trying to determine if he acted alone or was part of a group, said U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

Authorities in the United Kingdom have preliminarily identified the bomber as 23-year-old Salman Abedi, sources familiar with the probe said.

The explosion is being treated as a terrorist attack, and May said the threat level remains at severe, meaning the government considers another attack highly likely. The severe level is the second highest of five, with critical the highest.

Greater Manchester Police said a 23-year-old man was arrested in South Manchester in connection with the attack.

Police also said authorities executed two warrants as a part of the investigation: one in the Whalley Range district of Manchester and one in the Manchester suburb of Fallowfield, where a controlled explosion took place.

Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to the Manchester Arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. The explosion happened near the arena's foyer after the concert, according to witnesses, who reported hearing a bang as they exited.

The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe's largest indoor arenas, according to its website. The arena is connected to the Manchester Victoria Station, the city's second-largest train station.

An 8-year-old girl named Saffie Rose Roussos is among those killed.

Twelve children under the age of 16 were seriously injured, officials 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," May said Tuesday.

Greater Manchester Police are requesting dashcam footage from "anyone who was in Manchester city centre" between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday night as part of their investigation.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The deadly suicide bombing in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people and injured 59 others at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night is one of several terror attacks that have taken place in the U.K. in recent years.

The British people have endured politically-motivated attacks, attacks by right-wing extremists and attacks by Islamic extremists over the last few decades.

April 1999: David Copeland bombings

David Copeland was convicted in 2000 of killing three people and injuring 139 others after perpetrating a series of nail-bombing attacks that took place across the month of April 1999, according to reports by BBC News.

He was given six life sentences for his crimes.

Copeland, who belonged to far right-wing fascist groups according to a report in The Independent, targeted black, South Asian and gay Londoners in his plot.

July 7, 2005: London Underground attack

Four suicide bombers armed with "rucksacks full of explosives" attacked civilians traveling on London Underground trains as well as a double-decker bus on the morning of July 7, 2005. More than 50 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured, according to a report by BBC News.

Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, Hasib Hussain, 18, and Germaine Lindsay, 19, carried out the attacks, according to the BBC.

The attackers were motivated by Islamic extremism, and Khan recorded a video prior to carrying out the attacks in which he praised al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

May 22, 2013: Murder of Lee Rigby

Two Islamic extremists savagely murdered Lee Rigby, a British soldier and veteran of the Afghanistan War, just outside an army barrack, telling eyewitnesses the killing was "as an eye for an eye ... because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day," according to ABC News reporting from that time.

The killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, first ran over Rigby in a car then dragged him into the middle of the street in the South London neighborhood of Woolwich.

There, they hacked him to death with large knives, according to eyewitnesses.

Adebolajo and Adebowale were sentenced to life in prison in December of 2013, according to a report by BBC News.

Dec. 5, 2015: Leytonstone knife attack


Shortly after the Paris attacks in November of 2015, a 29-year-old man, Muhaydin Mire, was restrained and arrested for attempted murder after trying to stab people in the Leytonstone metro station with a knife.

The attack left a 56-year-old man in the hospital with serious but not life-threatening knife injuries, and a second man suffered minor injuries but did not require medical assistance, police said, according to an ABC News report at the time.

Mire, a former Uber driver with a history of mental health issues, had an interest in the terror group ISIS, according to a report in The Standard.

He pleaded guilty to attempted murder in 2016.

June 16, 2016: Assassination of Jo Cox


Jo Cox, a British member of Parliament, was killed in broad daylight after a town hall meeting at a library in West Yorkshire, England, one week prior to the Brexit referendum, according to ABC News' reporting from last summer.

Her killer, Thomas Mair, was a longtime supporter of a U.S.-based neo-Nazi organization, according to a watchdog group that tracks extremists. The Guardian reported that he had an interest in Nazism.

Mair is serving a life sentence for the crime.

March 22, 2017: Westminster Bridge attack


Three people were killed, including a police officer, and at least 29 people were hospitalized following an attack in London that took place earlier this year.

The attack began when a driver struck pedestrians and three police officers on Westminster Bridge, London's Metropolitan Police said.

Richard Tice, a witness, told ABC News that he saw injured people lined up along the pavement. According to Tice, the car jumped the curb, knocking over pedestrians.

The car then crashed into the fence around the Houses of Parliament, and a man armed with a knife attacked an officer who was guarding Parliament, according to police.

The suspect, 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masood, was shot and killed by police.

ISIS called Masood "a soldier of the Islamic State."

May 23, 2017: Manchester suicide bombing

ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday evening. Twenty-two people died and 59 others were injured in the attack.

The attacker died at the scene after using an improvised explosive device, officials said, and it's unclear at this time to what degree, if any, he received assistance from outside actors.

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MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- President Trump has arrived in Rome, Italy, ahead of his first audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican Wednesday.

The visit to the Vatican marks the third stop of Trump's tour visiting sites representing three major world religions. Over the weekend, the president stopped in Saudi Arabia where he delivered an address to Muslim leaders, and Monday through Tuesday he visited Israel and the West Bank where he met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The president and Pope Francis will certainly have differences to iron out during their meeting. In February 2016 when Trump was a candidate, the pontiff remarked on the Republican's key campaign proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it was un-Christian.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," the pope said.

Trump responded at the time with a statement calling Francis' remarks "disgraceful," and suggesting that Mexico was using the religious leader as a "pawn."

"No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith," Trump said. "They are using the pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant."

The president and the pope have also staked out different approaches to climate change, and their upcoming meeting comes as Trump weighs whether to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which he had previously promised to cancel within his first 100 days in office.

When the pope was asked recently what he expects from his meeting with Trump, given their differing views, he replied that he doesn't want to prejudge the president before he has met him.

"I will tell him what I think, he will tell me what he thinks, but I never wanted to judge someone before I listen to the person first," the pope said.

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Leon Neal/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- A teenage girl who was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday night, said she felt a shake, saw people crying, and then "went out the doors and we saw smoke everywhere."

"I looked to my right and there was just a decomposed body," the teen, Natalie Sully, said on ABC News' Good Morning America. "All you could see was just flesh."

"Then there was another bang, but we weren’t sure what it was, 'cause it wasn’t as loud as the other one," she said. "But then everyone was freaking out again, running."

"To be experiencing that at such a young age, seeing dead bodies, it was horrible," she said.

Lydia, a mother who was at the concert with her daughter, Madison, said she saw her life flash before her eyes.

Lydia told ABC News' Molly Hunter that she and her daughter, Madison, were heading towards the main entrance after the concert when she heard a bang -- but she said she didn’t think too much of it. Lydia said she figured the noise was a speaker and that she never would have thought it was an explosion.

It wasn't until she saw a sea of people running and shouting about an explosion that she knew it was serious, Lydia said.

Madison added, "I remember going out and then hearing a loud bang and then everyone running."

Lydia said she and her daughter started running but she worried they would be stampeded on their way down the stairs.

Lydia said she was grasping her daughter's hand tightly, describing the scene as complete panic and chaos. She said lots of mothers and children were screaming.

"We didn’t know whether it was a gunman," Lydia said, explaining that she was worried if a gunman would be waiting for them as they fled down the stairs.

Witness Joseph Harries told ABC News' Good Morning America, that "people were just trying to get out of the arena as fast as they possibly could after the blast. I was directly in front of the stage at the heart of the arena. I had exactly the same distance to get out of any of the doors."

"I had my best friend with me and I grabbed hold of her wrist and told her never let go of me," Harries said. "We just ran, we jumped over chairs, railings to get out of the doors, we had to force open doors that wouldn’t open because people were trying to get to – the entire capacity of the 20,000 person arena were trying to get out of one exit."

"It felt like an eternity," Harries said, but it "couldn’t have been more than two, three minutes from in our seats to outside of the arena."

Harries said he did not see any injuries or fatalities but his friend told him "he’d seen a girl covered in blood and she had bandages. ... He said it was traumatic and a horrendous experience."

The deadly explosion at the concert at the Manchester Arena killed 22 people and injured 59 others. Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday.

The explosion happened near the arena’s foyer after the concert finished, according to witnesses. The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, according to its website.

The man believed to be the lone attacker died at the scene after using an improved explosive device, officials said, but police are still determining if the attacker acted alone or as part of a wider group, said British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Monday's incident is being treated as a terror attack and May said the threat level remains at "severe," meaning the government considers another terror attack highly likely. Severe is level 4 out of 5, with critical being the highest.

May said police believe they know the identity of the suspect but at this stage they cannot confirm his name.

"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," May said Tuesday.

May said these "innocent, defenseless children and young people" "should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives."

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OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- Children are among the 22 killed and 59 injured in a "sickening" attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday night, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday.

An 8-year-old girl named Saffie Rose Roussos is among those killed.

Twelve children under the age of 16 were seriously injured, officials said.

Monday's incident is being treated as a terror attack and May said the threat level remains at "severe," meaning the government considers another terror attack highly likely. Severe is level 4 out of 5, with critical being the highest.

May said the attacker -- who died at the scene after using an improved explosive device -- deliberately targeted children and young people "who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives."

"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherished but as an opportunity for carnage," May said.

A suicide bomber was likely behind the attack, officials said, and May said police believe one man carried it out, but authorities still need to know if he was acting alone. May said police believe they know the identity of the suspect but at this stage they cannot confirm his name.

May, who will travel to Manchester Tuesday, said, "there will be difficult days ahead." She said many people are experiencing unimaginable worry as they still try to find out what happened to their loved ones.

Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said at a press conference Tuesday, "Our priority is to work with the national counter-terrorism policing network to establish more details about the individual who carried out this attack."

It was unclear if the attacker was acting as a part of a terrorist organization, according to Hopkins, who said the investigation was “complex and wide-ranging.”

"The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network," Hopkins said. "We would ask people not to speculate on his details or share names."

President Donald Trump offered his condolences in remarks during a visit to Israel, saying the victims were "murdered by evil losers."

"I won't call them monsters because they'd like that term. They'd think that's a great name," Trump said in Bethlehem after a visit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "I will call them from now on losers because that's what they are. They're losers and we'll have more of them. But they're losers remember that."

Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the Manchester Arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. The explosion happened inside of the arena’s foyer area after the concert finished, according to witnesses, who reported hearing a loud bang as they exited the arena.

The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, according to its website. The concert arena is connected to the Manchester Victoria Station, the city’s second-largest train station.

Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang.

"I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic," she said. "We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was."

Hundreds of police officers were on the scene overnight and transportation security was beefed up in Manchester and in other areas, according to police.

The mayors of several major cities across the globe, including those of London and New York City, also said they were reviewing their security measures as a precaution after the attack.

The British Transport Police department said extra officers would be on patrol at "key railway stations as well as on trains around the country” in the wake of the attack.

"Throughout the day, commuters can expect to see additional officers on their journey,” BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said in a statement early Tuesday. "This will include both armed and unarmed officers.”

"The whole nation has been shocked," Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement. "I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured."

"I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care," the Queen continued. "And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity."

An emergency hotline was set up for people concerned for “loved ones who may not have returned home, police said, and social networking giant Facebook activated its global “safety check“ feature in the wake of the deadly attack.

May said General Election campaigning would be suspended.

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Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(BETHLEHEM, West Bank) -- President Donald Trump said he's "truly hopeful" America can help Israel and the Palestinians broker a peace deal following his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.

"I am committed to trying to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal," President Trump said on his visit to Bethlehem in the West Bank, the next stop on his eight-day overseas trip.

The visit follows Trump's meetings with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he repeatedly expressed optimism for a peace settlement, despite his predecessors' inability to reach a lasting deal.

"[Abbas] assures me he is ready to work towards that goal in good faith and Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same," said Trump, standing next to Abbas at the Presidential Palace.

Trump also offered his condolences to the families of the victims and those injured in the terror attack overnight in Manchester, England that left 22 dead and 59 others injured.

"We stand in absolute solidarity with people of the United Kingdom," Trump said. “So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life."

Trump also commented that "it's so interesting" his meeting with Abbas took place "on this very horrible morning of death to innocent young people."

"We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single unified voice," Trump said, seeming to allude to criticism from Israel that Palestinians are too hesitant to condemn attacks initially.

In a meeting at the White House three weeks ago, Trump called on Abbas to demand that Palestinian leaders condemn any and all violence against Israelis, and Abbas spoke out strongly against Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

The administration has been confronted with thorny diplomatic realities during Trump's whirlwind overseas tour, specifically his decision to visit the Western Wall.

A junior U.S. official caused an uproar among many Israeli officials during a presurvey of the site, when he said that the Western Wall was not in Israeli territory but "is part of the West Bank."

After the incident, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley deviated from long-standing U.S. policy by saying the Western Wall is part of Israel, leading to protest from many Palestinians. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, asked about Haley's comments, reiterated traditional U.S. policy, saying, "The wall is part of Jerusalem."

After meeting with Abbas, Trump will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, where he will lay a wreath and deliver brief remarks. It could be an awkward moment for White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who in April was the target of a stinging statement from Yad Vashem over his controversial comparison between Adolf Hitler and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a press briefing.

"Yad Vashem expresses deep concern regarding the inaccurate and insensitive use of terms related to the Holocaust by the White House press secretary," according to a statement from the memorial. "His statements imply a profound lack of knowledge of events of the Second World War, including the Holocaust. Moreover, they are liable to strengthen the hands of those whose goal is to distort history."

Spicer repeatedly apologized after the episode.

After the wreath-laying ceremony, Trump will deliver an address at the Israel Museum to the Israeli people. That follows his address on Sunday in Saudi Arabia to leaders of Muslim countries, in which he called on them to "drive out" extremists and terrorists.

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Lindsey Parnaby/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- Strangers who jumped into action to offer help played a key role in the response to the deadly blast inside a crowded arena in Manchester, England that killed 22 and injured dozens more.

It was the U.K.'s deadliest terrorist attack since the 2005 London transit bombings but concerned residents didn't waste any time before rushing to the aid of lost, confused and injured concertgoers, including children who were separated from their parents.

"We have a long history in Greater Manchester of communities standing together during difficult times," Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said of the response.

Social media users began offering up extra rooms, couches, beds and food under the hashtag #RoomForManchester.

Manchester's mayor and a U.K. police forum spread the information around and encouraged anyone in need to take the offers for assistance.

Businesses in Manchester joined in welcoming anyone in need of a safe place to stay.

The social media posts included heartbreaking pleas for information about missing friends and loved ones.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MANCHESTER, England) -- Twenty-two people are dead and 59 others injured after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at one of Europe’s largest arenas.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the Manchester Arena in England just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. Authorities are telling people to avoid the area.

At the moment, the incident is being treated as a "terrorist incident until police know otherwise," police said.

U.S. law enforcement officials have been informed that the leading theory is that the Manchester Arena incident was the work of a suicide bomber, though they caution that this is preliminary information, according to a senior law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

The wounded are being treated at six different hospitals, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a press conference. "We're doing all that we can ... as we gather information about what happened," he said, asking people to remain vigilant.

The explosion happened inside of the arena’s foyer area after the concert finished, according to witnesses, who reported hearing a loud bang as they exited the arena. The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, according to its website.

The concert arena is connected to the Manchester Victoria Station, the city’s second-largest train station.

The British Transport Police department said extra officers would be patrol at "key railway stations as well as on trains around the country” in the wake of the attack.

"Throughout the day, commuters can expect to see additional officers on their journey,” BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said in a statement early Tuesday. "This will include both armed and unarmed officers.”

“As the public would expect in response to an incident such as this, extra BTP officers will be on patrol at key railway stations as well as on trains around the country,” he continued.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have agreed that all national campaigning in the General Election were "suspended until further notice" in the aftermath of the incident, according to the Press Association, which cited Labour officials.

May is set to hold an emergency COBRA meeting at 9 a.m. local time. The group typically meets after major incidents to plan the government’s overall response. The group -- composed of government ministers, military and security chiefs -- will also review the threat level, which is currently one below the highest possible level.

Concertgoers reported hearing a loud bang at the end of the concert and attendees rushed toward the exit.

Eyewitness Karen Ford told the BBC, "The lights had come up everyone was just getting out and walking towards the stairs, when all of a sudden this huge sound, which sounded like an explosion went off."

She added: "Everyone just stopped and turned around, and then somebody shouted 'it’s a bomb' and everyone just started running. Everybody was trying to push people up the stairs. There was a lot of children there without parents. There was no one to calm them down so everyone was just screaming, crying and pushing."

Andy Holey, an eyewitness, told the BBC that he was waiting outside the concert and was blown over by the force of what he described as an "explosion." When he awoke, he said he saw many casualties around him. He added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.

Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang.

"I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic," she said. "We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was."

Emergency personnel treated some of the injured at the nearby Manchester Victoria railway station.

A rep for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

A distraught Grande tweeted that she was "broken."

In a statement, Grande's manager, Scooter Braun, echoed her tweet, writing, "Our hearts are broken."

In a statement, Manchester Arena confirmed that there had been an incident but said it occurred outside the venue. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims," it tweeted.

Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.

According to a spokesman for the British Home Office, they are holding a senior staff meeting on the Manchester incident Monday evening.

U.K. Prime Minister May said in a statement that they "are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack."

"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected," she added.

The U.S. State Department said that it was monitoring the situation closely.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those killed and injured in the incident," a State Department official said. "The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is one of our highest priorities. The U.S. Embassy in London is monitoring the situation closely."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. military forces conducted a ground raid in Yemen early Tuesday morning that targeted a known al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula compound, according to a U.S. military spokesman.

The operation took place in Marib Governorate in central Yemen, according to Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.

Thomas said the mission was intended as a site exploitation mission to gather more information about AQAP.

"Raids such as this provide insight into AQAP's disposition, capabilities and intentions, which will allow us to continue to pursue, disrupt, and degrade AQAP," said a Central Command statement.

Seven AQAP militants were killed as the U.S. forces encountered resistance and responded with a combination of small arms fire and precision airstrikes. Thomas said there were no reports of civilian casualties or any U.S. military casualties.

The raid targeted a known AQAP compound but included "focused actions over a fairly large area" that were miles from each other, said Thomas. They included pre-planned coordinated airstrikes before the arrival of the ground forces.

The spokesman said that the nighttime mission was conducted "in full coordination with Arab partners in the area" and was conducted under the broader authorities given to U.S. military commanders by the Trump administration. The mission did not require presidential authorization.

Social media reports from local residents provided the first indication of possible U.S. military activity in the area of central Yemen.

This was the U.S. military's first ground operation in Marib Province.

On Jan. 28, Navy SEAL's conducted a similar site exploitation raid on an AQAP compound in a neighboring province that resulted in the death of Senior Chief Naval Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens and two dozen civilians.

That raid required airstrikes to repel the heavy resistance the SEALS encountered. It also resulted in the destruction of a Marine MV-22 Osprey aircraft that had experienced a hard landing and left several U.S. military personnel injured.

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PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- Local Manchester, England, residents and businesses are offering up places to stay to those affected by Monday's incident at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.

#RoomForManchester began trending on Twitter following the incident that has killed at least 19 people and wounded around 50 others. The local train station has been closed in the wake of the incident, stranding many.

"I have a sofa, floor, blankets and tea, 5 minutes from Arena for anyone in need #RoomForManchester," wrote one user.

@MENnewsdesk I have a sofa, floor, blankets and tea, 5 minutes from Arena for anyone in need #RoomForManchester

— Rebecca Topham (@rebeccatophamx) May 23, 2017

"If you need a place to crash I live around the corner from Manchester Arena on Jefferson Place. Feel free to contact me#roomformanchester," said another.

If you need a place to crash l live around the corner from Manchester Arena on Jefferson Place. Feel free to contact me#roomformanchester

— Gez B (@Capita686) May 22, 2017

A local Holiday Inn was offering up rooms for those affected and reportedly helping reunite children with their parents.

Anyone needing a place to stay we have rooms at the Holiday Inn Manchester West. Contact to hotel on 0161 7430080 #roomformanchester

— Danny McMenemy (@Dan_McMenemy) May 22, 2017

At the moment, the incident is being treated as a "terrorist incident until police know otherwise," police said. U.S. law enforcement officials have been informed that the leading theory is that the Manchester Arena incident was the work of a suicide bomber, though they caution that this is preliminary information, according to a senior law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

It's unclear what occurred at the venue, but concertgoers reported hearing a loud bang at the end of the concert and attendees rushed toward the exit.

Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang. "I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic," she said. "We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was."

In a statement, Manchester Arena confirmed that there had been an incident but said it occurred outside the venue. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims," it tweeted.

The wounded are being treated at six different hospitals, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a press conference. "We're doing all that we can ... as we gather information about what happened," he said, asking people to remain vigilant.

A rep for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

Others in Manchester offered help as well.

Anybody stuck in Manchester tonight I have a spare room and I just made some really nice soup. #roomformanchester please rt xxx

— Robyn Alexander (@robynrobynrobyn) May 23, 2017

#Manchester: With #RoomForManchester & free rides offered by taxi drivers - humanity stamps its foot.

— Alastair Stewart (@alstewitn) May 22, 2017

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