LONDON: The British anti-terrorist police opened an investigation into a New Year’s knife attack in which three people, including a policeman, were stabbed by a man in Manchester’s central city of Great Britain, “The National” reported Tuesday.
The British transport police officer was stabbed in the shoulder and a man and a woman, both aged about 50, were “seriously injured” during the attack at the Manchester train station, Victoria. Both men had belly wounds and the woman was also wounded in the face, the police said during the night.
The suspect was arrested for attempted murder, the Greater Manchester police said in a statement.
The incident occurred around 8:50 pm as many of the city’s party-goers reportedly enjoyed the New Year celebrations.
Witness Sam Clack, 38, a BBC radio producer, described the attack: “I just heard the bloodiest scream and glanced at the platform.
“He came to me, I looked down and saw that he had a kitchen knife with a black handle and a good 30-centimeter blade.
“It was just fear, pure fear.”
Clack said the police used a stun gun and pepper spray before “six or seven” policemen jumped at the man.
He said he heard the alleged knife cutter shouting Islamic slogans during the attack.
He said the suspect had shouted, “As long as you continue to bomb other countries, this kind of … [thing] will continue to happen.”
A witness named Rebekka told the British Daily Mirror newspaper that she had heard a scream and turned to see people running towards her.
“I jumped off the tramway [station] and started down the tram lines and hid behind concrete slabs under one of the arches [of the railroad].
“I was really scared, I did not know if I was going to die.”
Authorities described the attack as a “critical incident” and Greater Manchester police deputy police chief Rob Potts said the investigation was being conducted by the anti-terrorist police and that all those concerned were keeping a “safe haven”, “open mind”.
“The events tonight will naturally worry people, but I must point out that the incident is not ongoing, a man is in custody and there is currently no information suggesting that there is currently a broader threat,” he said.
“Although we do not yet know all the circumstances and we keep an open mind, officers of the North West Anti-Terrorist Police are conducting the investigation.
“This is to ensure that we have all the expertise we have and that we will continue our investigation as soon as we can.”
The city’s New Year celebrations took place on Albert Square, despite the incident. Fireworks were organized as planned, but security was strengthened.
The city suffered a suicide bombing in May 2017, in which 22 people were killed and 139 wounded in a concert by American singer Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena.
The bomber, Salman Abedi, 22, was born and raised in Manchester.
(Sahar News/Monitoring Desk)