Manchester attack: Events planned for arena bomb anniversary

I Love Manchester sign Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Richard Leese said the first anniversary of the attack would be "an intensely emotional time"

A memorial service and evening vigil will mark the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack.

Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds injured when Salman Abedi detonated a home-made bomb at an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said the first anniversary would be "an intensely emotional time" for the city.

Plans for a permanent memorial to the victims remain under consideration.

A civic memorial service will be held at Manchester Cathedral on the afternoon of 22 May, with families of the victims among those invited, the council has confirmed.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police lay flowers after the Manchester Arena attack

The authority said invitations would be extended to "senior national figures".

After the service Albert Square will host a vigil in the early evening.

Thousands of people gathered at the square in the aftermath of the bombing, and the council said the anniversary event would "give people the chance to once again come together, stand in solidarity and show the world that they are united".

The council has also planned a "Trees of Hope Trail", which will invite people to leave messages and tributes on trees placed around the city centre in the days before the anniversary.

A one-minute silence will also be held during the Great Manchester Run, on 20 May.

Image caption Thousands packed into Albert Square to pay their respects after the bombing

Mr Leese said: "The horrific events of 22 May shocked not just this city but the world.

"Those who lost loved ones, and those who were left physically or mentally injured, will always have a place in our thoughts and we will never forget the 22 people, including children, whose lives were taken away.

"The first anniversary of the attack will be an intensely emotional time for a great many people. Everyone touched by those events has a unique personal experience and we have tried to be mindful of this in planning a range of events."

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