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Manchester Stabbings: Man Held on Suspicion of Terror Offences Now Arrested under Mental Health Act

The investigation will continue in order to fully understand the motives behind the attack.

PTI

Updated:October 12, 2019, 4:22 PM IST
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Manchester Stabbings: Man Held on Suspicion of Terror Offences Now Arrested under Mental Health Act
Image for representational purposes only. (Photo: Reuters)

London: The man arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences after three people were stabbed in Manchester city centre on Friday has been detained under the UK's Mental Health Act.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the 40-year-old man, who was taken into custody after the incident at Arndale Shopping Centre, was assessed by specialist doctors and then re-arrested under the Mental Health Act later on Friday.

The 40-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of committing a terrorism offence, has now been assessed by specialist doctors and compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act, the GMP statement said.

The investigation will continue in order to fully understand the motives behind the attack. There is not believed to be any wider threat to the communities of Greater Manchester and the attacker is believed to have acted alone, it added.

A man in his 50s, a 19-year-old woman and another woman were rushed to hospital with stab wounds. Two others were also hurt but did not need to be hospitalised.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson of Greater Manchester Police said: "We do not know the motivation for this terrible attack. It appears random, is certainly brutal and of course extremely frightening for anyone who witnessed it.

"At this time we do not believe that there is anyone else involved in this attack but we will be constantly keeping this under review. We have specially trained officers supporting those injured from the attack.

"We'll have increased patrols, including armed patrols, in the city centre this weekend."

He also appealed for anyone who was in the Arndale at the time to send any images or footage taken from the scene via the force's website.

Jackson said the suspect began "lunging and attacking people with the knife" before being confronted by two unarmed Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) on site.

"He then chased them with the knife. While they were calling for urgent assistance, the man began attacking people around him," he said, adding that although the injuries sustained by the victims were "nasty", none of them are life-threatening".

The force had earlier said that given the location and nature of the incident, specialist officers are continuing to investigate after a man was initially arrested on suspicion of serious assault.

The shopping centre is in the vicinity of the Manchester Arena, which was the site of a terror attack by an Islamic State (ISIS) claimed suicide bomber in 2017, who killed 22 people during an Ariana Grande concert.

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