MANCHESTER: Counterterror police were on Friday probing a mass stabbing at a shopping center in northwest England that left several people injured and needing hospital treatment. The attack happened at the Arndale shopping center in the heart of Manchester, where a extremist suicide bomber killed 22 after an Ariana Grande concert in 2017.
A man in his 40s was arrested on suspicion of serious assault.
Footage posted online appeared to show one police officer restraining the suspect on the floor as another stands over him pointing a Taser.
A shop worker who gave his name only as Jordan, 23, told Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency that “a man was running around with a knife lunging at multiple people, one of which came into my store visibly shaken with a small graze.”
Greater Manchester Police and North West Ambulance Service said four people were injured during the incident, revising downwards an initial toll of five.
Two women — one of them aged 19 — were taken to hospital with stab wounds and were said to be in a stable condition following the attack, which happened shortly after 11:00 a.m. (1000 GMT).
A man in his 50s was also being treated while the fourth victim, a woman in her 40s, did not require treatment, police said.
Earlier, the force said: “Given the location of the incident and its nature, officers from Counter Terrorism Police North West are leading the investigation as we determine the circumstances.” Officers were “keeping an open mind about the motivation,” the force said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked by the incident in Manchester and my thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.”
The Arndale Center had already been the scene of a terror attack in 1996 when the largest peacetime bomb ever detonated in Britain injured 212. The 1,500-kg truck bomb, planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, caused an estimated £770 million ($970 million) damage.
Two people were also seriously injured last New Year’s Eve when a 25-year-old man went on a stabbing rampage near the city’s Victoria railway station.
He was later detained under mental health legislation.
The Arndale Center is near the Manchester Arena, where the Ariana Grande concert attack happened, and the railway station.