Manchester attack: National minute's silence held

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Media captionA minute's silence has been held to remember the victims of the Manchester attack

Hundreds of people gathered in Manchester city centre to observe a minute's silence to remember the victims of the arena bomb attack.

The country fell silent at 11:00 BST for the silence, which ended with a round of applause at St Ann's Square.

Cards, flowers and teddy bears now adorn the statue there - adopted as the focal point to remember the victims.

Twenty-two people were killed and 116 injured when Salman Abedi detonated a homemade device on Monday.

Chalked out messages like "we will stand together, no fear one love" on the ground have not faded despite the numbers coming to pay their respects and leave poignant tributes.

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Image caption Members of the public have been laying floral tributes and messages in St Ann's Square
Image copyright PA
Image caption Hundreds turned out to pay their respects

Less than a mile from Manchester Arena, people gathered around the tributes left at the site's statue while others observed the silence out of the windows from offices above.

The silence ended with a round of applause and people sang the Oasis hit Don't Look Back in Anger.

Stephanie Carr, 65, from Reddish, Greater Manchester, said: "It was so emotional. It leaves you speechless and the singing at the end typifies Manchester."

She said a lady who she did not know came over and gave her a hug.

"We have to be there for people. I felt like a proud a Mancunian. Not everyone in the world is bad. If we were to stop living they would have won," she said.

Nick Dawson, 49, from Salford, said: "Showing the world that good people will always gather together to defy evil. It's a mark of respect. A mark of defiance."

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Image caption People in suits, uniforms and casual dress turned out
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Image caption Members of the community observed a minute's silence

At St Ann's Square: Nafeesa Shan, BBC News

Don't look back in anger. That was the message Manchester sent to the world after the minute's silence for the victims of the suicide bomber.

The Oasis hit sung by the crowd showed defiance, a feeling of being united and above all strength even though emotions were high with sadness and grief.

City workers left their desks to stand together as silence descended as the church bells struck 11:00 and what sounded like a town crier's bell marked the moment.

All was quiet except for a baby crying which brought home the atrocity in which children died.

But Manchester wiped away the tears as spontaneous applause broke out and people in the crowd shouted "come on Manchester" and "well done Manchester" before balloons were released and there was the final tribute. Don't Look Back in Anger.

So let's not look back in anger as Manchester carries on as a city united.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mancuanians brought more cards, flowers and teddy bears and chalked out messages on the ground

Manchester United fan Adrian Box, 49, from Grimsby, travelled to the city to mark his respects. Standing with a rival City fan he just met, he said: "We should unite.

"We can't let these people defeat us. I'm proud I've adopted this city."

Sadness and tears

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham was among the crowd who observed the silence at the square.

Lord Mayor of the city Eddy Newman, council leader Sir Richard Leese and Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Warren Smith joined those in the silence at the square.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said it was an important show of unity.

He said: "We often talk about how things divide us but Manchester over the last few days has been absolutely united."

Helen Dover, 41, from Droylsden, said: "I wanted to pay my respects.

Image copyright Liverpool City Council
Image caption A minute's silence was observed across the country including in Liverpool

"It means so much, it's terrible what's happened it's nice to so many people. It means so much."

Shannon Davies, 17, said she and her friends were caught up in the emotion of the day too.

She said: "We just feel really sad. We have all cried about it."

A minute's silence was observed across the country including Liverpool.

Nineteen of the victims have been named so far and include children and teenagers.

Image caption Clockwise, from top left: Georgina Callander, Saffie Roussos, Olivia Campbell, Martyn Hett, Michelle Kiss, Sorrell Leczkowski, Alison Howe, Lisa Lees, Jane Tweddle-Taylor, Nell Jones, Marcin Klis, Angelika Klis, Kelly Brewster and John Atkinson

The youngest is eight-year-old Saffie Roussos. Off-duty Cheshire police officer Elaine McIver is also among the dead.

Of the 116 injured, 23 are in critical care. Twelve of them are children.

Image copyright Twitter/Manchester Arena
Image caption Manchester Arena tweeted ahead of the minute's silence

Manchester United fans observed a minute's silence at the Old Nags Head in the city centre before the club's Europa League final on Wednesday evening.

Flags will remain at half-mast on government buildings until Thursday evening, a statement released by the prime minister's office said.

Eight men are in custody in the UK following the attack by Manchester-born Abedi, a 22-year-old from a family of Libyan origin. One of those being held is his older brother, Ismail, 23.

Abedi's younger brother Hashem, 20, has also been apprehended in the Libyan capital Tripoli, as was their father.

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Image caption Balloons reading 22 are placed among the flowers to remember the victims
Image copyright PA

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