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Europe

Eight-year-old girl named among fatalities of Manchester bombing

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-05-24

An 8-year-old girl killed in Monday night’s suicide bombing in Manchester has become the symbol of tragedy and national mourning.

British authorities on Tuesday said Saffie Roussos was among the 22 people who died as a result of a blast at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, making the 8-year-old schoolgirl the youngest known fatality so far.

Several British dailies published photos of Saffie on their front page, calling the attack that largely targeted teenage concert-goers an act of “evil”.

Prime Minister Theresa May condemned it for its "appalling sickening cowardice" and for "deliberately targeting innocent defenceless children and young people".

"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.

Saffie, who was from Leyland, a town in Lancashire in northwest England, reportedly attended the concert with her mother and older sister.

They were both being treated for injuries in a nearby hospital, according to family friends.

Chris Upton, head teacher at the Tarleton Community Primary School, described Saffie as "a beautiful little girl in every sense of the word".

"She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair," Upton said. "The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heart-breaking."

The bombing took place after Grande closed the show with her hit song "Dangerous Woman" and left the stage.

The improvised explosive device was detonated by a Manchester native of Libyan decent as the audience streamed toward the city's main train station.

The attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, scattered bolts and other metal scraps, apparently intended to maximize the bloodshed.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2017-05-24

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