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Manchester Arndale evacuated as UK on alert

Manchester’s Arndale Centre has been evacuated, with people seen running away screaming and witnesses saying a man was arrested by armed police.

“Security guards and police who were armed shouted at people to get away,” said Sky’s Mike McCarthy, at the scene. “At least 100 people came round the corner – many of them screaming and trying to get away.” Some people fell over in the rush to get away and police with sniffer dogs went inside the shopping centre, said McCarthy. Police said they do not think it was related to the incident at Manchester Arena and the centre has now reopened.

Image: Some people were in tears as the shopping centre was evacuated

The evacuation happened around 12 hours after a bomb attack killed 22 people at a concert at the arena.1 :: Live updates – Manchester attack2 Extra armed police are on UK streets after the attack, with a high state of alert seeing a suspicious item blown up in Manchester in the early hours.

Image: People leave the Arndale Centre after it was evacuated

A controlled explosion took place just after 1.30am in Cathedral Gardens, near the site of the attack, but it later turned out to be a pile of abandoned clothing.

:: Security services think they know who bomber is3 Another suspicious item sparked an evacuation of London’s Victoria coach station around 6.40am. Passengers were moved to the end of the street as the area was cordoned off and buses diverted . However, the alert was called off shortly after 8am.

Image: Cars arriving at Manchester United’s training ground were also searched

Manchester United players arriving at the team’s Carrington training ground have also had their cars searched. Security staff used mirrors to check underneath vehicles and opened up the boots. The team are getting set for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.

:: Manchester Arena witness: ‘It was absolute carnage’4

A “mix of armed and unarmed officers” were called up for the rush hour in London, with Met Police chief Cressida Dick saying they would “continue for as long as is needed”. Police Scotland said more armed officers would be at “transport hubs and crowded places”. Policing in crowded places is also being reviewed in the West Midlands, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. Extra armed officers were called up in London and other cities after the Westminster attack in March and the Berlin attack in December. The threat from international terrorism in the UK remains “severe” – as it has been since August 2014 – meaning an attack is highly likely.

References

  1. ^ bomb attack killed 22 people at a concert at the arena. (news.sky.com)
  2. ^ Live updates – Manchester attack (news.sky.com)
  3. ^ Security services think they know who bomber is (news.sky.com)
  4. ^ Manchester Arena witness: ‘It was absolute carnage’ (news.sky.com)

UEFA confirm Europa League final to go ahead but will increase security in wake of Manchester attack

European football’s governing body, UEFA, have confirmed that the Europa League1 final between Manchester United2 and Ajax3 in Stockholm will go ahead following the tragic events at Manchester Arena on Monday night. A terror attack4 at an Ariana Grande concert left 22 people dead and 59 injured. UEFA have two major finals in the next 11 days, with Wednesday’s clash followed by the pinnacle of the European season on Saturday week – the Champions League final in Cardiff.

They have been liaising with Swedish police ahead of the match in Stockholm for a number of months, increasing their detail following the Stockholm terror attack5 in April, which left five people dead and 15 other injured when a hijacked truck was eliberately driven into crowds along Drottninggatan,. Seeking to allay fears, UEFA have stated that there is “currently no specific intelligence” that the final will be targeted. UEFA have urged supporters travelling to the Friends Arena that “detailed checks” will take place upon arrival.

Stockholm’s Friends Arena A pitchside view

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“UEFA is shocked by last night’s attack in Manchester .

Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those affected,” read the statement.

“There is currently no specific intelligence which might suggest that any of the UEFA Europa League final activities in Stockholm may be the target of attacks.

“UEFA has been closely working with local authorities and the Swedish FA for many months and the terrorist risk had been taken into account since the very beginning of the project.

“Furthermore, a number of additional security measures were implemented following the attacks in Stockholm last April.

“Due to the tight security arrangements, UEFA urges fans to arrive at the stadium as early as possible, as detailed checks will be made at the entrances, resulting in potential in accessing the stadium.”

United fly out to the Swedish capital on Tuesday, ahead of the clash with the Dutch giants .

They are expected to ask UEFA if they can wear black armbands.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin offered his condolences

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin added: “I am deeply saddened by the horrible terrorist attack in Manchester last night.

“It shocks me that so many innocent people lost their lives and I would like to send my condolences to the families of those affected.”

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Manchester United Ajax

References

  1. ^ Europa League (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Manchester United (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Ajax (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ terror attack (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Stockholm terror attack (www.mirror.co.uk)

Turkey puts 200 suspected military coup plotters on trial amid heavy security

ANKARA Turkey put on trial 200 suspects on Monday including senior military officers accused of plotting and orchestrating last year’s failed coup, in a court case where prosecutors are calling for life sentences.

The defendants, among them President Tayyip Erdogan’s aide-de-camp, the former head of Turkey’s air force, and dozens of generals, colonels and majors, were paraded on their way to court past dozens of protesters who demanded the death penalty and threw nooses towards them.

Around 1,500 security personnel were deployed for security at the trial, state-run Anadolu news agency reported, which was held in a purpose-built courthouse in Sincan on the outskirts of the Turkish capital.

More than 240 people, many of them civilians, were killed in the failed coup on July 15, 2016, when a group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, warplanes and helicopters, bombing the parliament and attempting to overthrow the government.

Those on trial in Sincan included core suspects behind the coup who raided the state broadcaster and forced the presenter to read out an announcement saying the army had taken over and Turkey was being run by a committee they called “Peace at Home”.

Erdogan blames Fetullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric and a former ally, and his global network for orchestrating the coup, a charge Gulen denies . Turkish authorities have arrested nearly 50,000 people over alleged links with the preacher.

At the start of the hearing, families of the victims attending the trial screamed at the defendants, and one woman in the courtroom, whose son was killed during the coup, broke down.

“Kill these traitors, the murderers of my son,” she screamed before fainting . The judge called for a medical team to be brought into the courtroom.

From a total of 221 defendants, more than 200 are from the military and more than half of those were officers who held ranks from captains up to generals . All but 12 of the suspects, who are still at large, appeared in court . Gulen, who is among the defendants, is among those being tried in absentia.

Following confirmation of the suspects’ identity and the reading of a summary of the roughly 2,000-page indictment, suspects will be able to put forward their defence.

Hearings at the trial, one of the largest of several coup-related trials taking place across Turkey, are expected to last until June 16.

Citing the coup attempt as a grave threat to the state, Turkish authorities have also sacked or suspended around 150,000 civil servants, teachers, judges, prosecutors, police and soldiers and have shut down around 150 media outlets.

While the detentions may have been supported by some Turks in the immediate aftermath of the abortive putsch, criticism mounted as arrests widened to include groups of which many deny any connection to Gulen.

Many relatives of those detained or sacked since July say they have nothing to do with the armed attempt to overthrow the government, and are victims of a purge designed to consolidate Erdogan’s control.

(Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Dominic Evans and Raissa Kasolowsky)