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Hungarian Leaders Offer Condolences to UK Following Manchester Terrorist Attack

By Tom Szigeti // 2017.05.23.

At least 22 people are dead following an explosion at an Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester yesterday evening. The explosion, which is believed to be a terrorist attack, injured an additional 59 people. British police have confirmed that some of those who were killed are children.

According to the Guardian, a blast occurred near one of the exits of Manchester Arena at roughly 10:35pm BST last night. It is currently believed that the attack was carried out by a lone bomber, who died at the scene. The explosion is currently “being investigated as a suspected suicide bombing.”

A video, produced by the Guardian, provides an overview of the horrific attack. A quick warning: this video contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some of our readers.

The Manchester Evening News reports that parents, friends, and family members of concert-goers who are still missing have been sharing details on social media in an effort “to find their loved ones.”

In the wake of last night’s bombing, Manchester’s Victoria railway and tram station, which is near the site of the attack, was closed down. While this was a necessary security precaution, it left many of approximately 21,000 concert-goers stranded in the city-center.

In response, residents of Manchester mobilized, taking to Twitter to help organize rides, medical attention, and even places to sleep for the night. Taxi drivers joined to offer free rides to “anyone who can’t get home tonight,” while tweets to the hashtag #roomformanchester quickly became viral as Manchester residents “offered spare bedrooms, cups of tea and rides to people caught up in the attack.”

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In the wake of the bombing, the UK’s major political parties have suspended campaigning for the upcoming June 8th general election.

Since news of the attack broke, expressions of condolences and of support have poured in from around the world, as leaders ranging from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to US President Donald Trump, to Chinese President Xi Jinping sent messages to the leaders of the United Kingdom.

Hungarian President Janos Ader expressed condolences to Queen Elizabeth II over the bombing in Manchester on Monday evening.

Ader expressed sympathy for the families of the victims and wished people injured in the blast a speedy recovery. The president said in his message that everything must be done to ensure that “the lives of peaceful people cannot be threatened by those obsessed by destruction and terror”. He also added that

Hungary is ready to take part in joint efforts to further strengthen the security of our countries and citizens.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also expressed his condolences to British PM Theresa May in the aftermath of the terror attack, writing that

It was with deep sorrow that I learned of what happened in Manchester last night, and of the many young lives extinguished in the terrible blast. Europe has come under serial attack, which has come as a serious shock to us all. For this reason, everything must be done to restore the continent’s security…I can assure you that Hungary will continue to do everything possible to support our common struggle against terror, which is an affront to us all. Allow me to express my sympathies to the families of the victims and I wish the injured a speedy recovery.

In the chaos of events in Manchester, there are many facts that are still unclear. This morning, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told state media that diplomatic staff were still trying to establish whether any Hungarians were affected by the explosion at Manchester Arena.

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Szijjartó also said the Hungarian government strongly condemned the attack, and expressed its condolences to the families of the victims of the blast and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

The Foreign Minister said that Europe’s top priority now would be to ensure security, emphasizing his view that “all measures should serve this purpose.”

Szijjártó also attempted to link last night’s tragedy with Europe’s ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, saying that the continent had taken a “huge security risk” by having let in around 1.5 million people “with unidentified backgrounds and unclear motives” over the past two years.

He added that, “Looking at the number of terrorist attacks that have been carried out since 2015, it is not unfair to say that one of the consequences of illegal migration has been an unprecedented rise in the threat of terrorism.”

Via MTI, BBC, the Guardian, the Independent, and the Manchester Evening News

Images via the Manchester Evening News

Video via the Guardian