United Kingdom: A knife attack which saw two rail passengers and a policeman stabbed by a man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ is being treated as an act of terrorism, Manchester police said on Tuesday.
Anti-terror officers raided the 25-year-old suspect’s home in the Cheetham Hill area of the city today as they confirmed two of the victims will be in hospital ‘for some time’.
Footage of the aftermath of the ‘frenzied’ attack at Manchester’s Victoria Station last night shows a man being pinned down by five police officers, with blood stains on the pavement.
Another video shows the suspect shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’, meaning ‘God is most great’ in Arabic, as he was put in the back of a police van. He was also heard screaming: ‘Long live the Caliphate’, a reference to the enclave carved out by terror group ISIS.
Social media footage of the suspect shouting "Allah Akbar" as he was taken into the police van after stabbing three people (Man, woman and a police officer) at #Manchester #Victoria station pic.twitter.com/7m2w0w90su
— News_Executive (@News_Executive) January 1, 2019
A witness said he also shouted: ‘As long as you keep bombing other countries, this sort of s*** is going to keep happening.’
Witnesses have praised the British Transport Police officer who was stabbed in the shoulder after ‘bravely and immediately’ confronting the attacker during a routine patrol.
The station where the attack unfolded is next to Manchester Arena, where suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed 22 people on May 22. The area was reopened after a cordon was lifted this morning.
Witness Sam Clack, who came within touching distance of the attacker, said he heard the man shout ‘Allah’ as he launched the attack.
Mr Clack, a BBC producer, was on a platform at Manchester Victoria railway station waiting for a tram home when he witnessed the attack.
The 38-year-old said: ‘I just heard this most blood-curdling scream and looked down the platform. What it looked like was a guy in his 60s with a woman of similar age and another guy all dressed in black.
‘It looked like they were having a fight but she was screaming in this blood curdling way. I saw police in high-vis come towards him.
Police appeared ‘within seconds’ and the knifeman backed down the platform towards where Mr Clack was standing alone.
A police sergeant in his 30s injured in the attack has been released from hospital, while the other two victims are currently receiving treatment.
A British Transport Police spokesperson said the woman has injuries to her face and abdomen and the man has injuries to his abdomen, while a BTP officer has a stab wound in his shoulder – all of which are described as ‘serious but not life-threatening’.
British Transport Police said in a statement: ‘Officers are attending Manchester Victoria station following reports of a man wielding a knife. We received the call at 8.52pm on Monday, 31 December.
‘A man has been detained and two members of the public, a man and a woman have been taken to hospital with knife injuries.
‘A BTP officer is also receiving treatment for a stab wound to the shoulder. British Transport Police remain at the scene along with colleagues from Greater Manchester Police and the North West Ambulance Service.’
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
This story will be updated in case of new information.