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Manchester attack: Saffie Roussos' mother finally told her eight-year-old daughter died

The Independent logo The Independent 1/06/2017 Lizzie Dearden

© Provided by Independent Print Limited The mother of the Manchester attack’s youngest victim has been informed of her daughter’s death after being taken off life support in hospital.

Lisa Roussos, 48, was critically injured by shrapnel in the bombing that killed eight-year-old Saffie and injured her older sister, Ashlee Bromwich.

A family friend, Mike Swanson, said Ms Roussos was “awake and out of surgery” in hospital.

“[She] is fully aware of the situation and is now out of any danger,” he added in a Facebook post.

“I am very proud of the strength that Lisa and Andrew have as a couple - their bravery though this is commendable.

“They are all now together, Ashley the eldest daughter is also out of danger and is talking to her mother.”

Mr Swanson, who runs a computer repairs business next to the family’s fish and chip ship in Leyland, said the family is now attempting to “rebuild their lives”.

The headteacher of Saffie's school, Chris Upton, described her as “a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word”, adding: “She was loved by everyone.”

Saffie was one of seven children killed in the bombing, which struck a foyer linking Manchester Arena with Victoria station as fans left a concert on 22 May.

Isis claimed responsibility for the atrocity, which killed 22 people in total and injured dozens more, including 50 people who remain in hospital.

Police are piecing together the last movements of bomber Salman Abedi, after finding that he purchased the “core components” for the device alone.

Investigators are still probing the possibility of a wider terror network behind the 22-year-old but fears he built other bombs are easing after all equipment and chemicals were accounted for in searches.

Greater Manchester Police said 10 suspects remain in custody on suspicion of terror offences after another man was released without charge on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old man had been arrested in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, following searches in the area last week.

Following the previous releases of two of Abedi’s cousins and his former landlord, Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said the release of further suspects “can be expected”.

“We still have a number of people in custody and we will be seeking to extend the custody of some of them as we work to understand what has gone on and whether Abedi was helped,” he added.

“There has been huge progress made over the week and the speed of the inquiry remains the same.

"It will be a long investigation and it will take considerable time before we fully understand what has happened."

Investigators have been attempting to piece together Abedi's movements between when he arrived back in Manchester from Libya on 18 May, and the bombing four days later.

Det Ch Supt Jackson confirmed that Abedi himself had made ”most of the purchases of the core components“ himself, following reports he had visited DIY shops in Manchester and used at least three different properties to prepare the bomb.

”What is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack,“ he added.

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”It is vital that we make sure that he is not part of a wider network and we cannot rule this out yet.

“There remain a number of things that concern us about his behaviour prior to that attack and those of his associates.”

The UK’s terror threat level was raised to “critical” following the attack but put back down to “severe” days later, while hundreds of soldiers are now being taken off the streets.

Around 1,000 military personnel were deployed to guard sensitive sites and bolster police as part of Operation Temperer.

Military support was kept in place over the Bank Holiday as hundreds of events were held around the country, before the measure was gradually scaled back this week.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of the Defence Staff, paid tribute to all members of the armed forces involved in the operation.

“Whether in niche or specialist roles in support of law enforcement or in static support of policing, the collective calm professionalism of the military has been evident for all to see,” he added.

”Of course, our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones or suffered life-changing injuries and we must all stay vigilant against further attacks or atrocities.

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“Wherever based or deployed, many in the armed forces and wider defence family do and will continue to make an important contribution to our nation's efforts to counter terrorism.”

Heightened security will be in place at Old Trafford on Sunday, as Grande returns for a tribute concert alongside artists including Coldplay, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Take That.

On Thursday morning, general sale tickets sold out in less than 20 minutes, causing Ticketmaster's website to temporarily crash.

Fans while fans who were at the 22 May concert have been given free passes, with registration extended after complaints that those who brought their initial tickets through third-party websites could be excluded

All proceeds will go towards the We Love Manchester fund set up for victims and their families, while bar operator Central Fusion will also be donating its profits.

Police are continuing to appeal for information on sightings of Abedi with a blue suitcase between 18 and 22 May, which he was carrying on repeated trips to the Wilmslow Road area of Manchester.

They have released an image of him with the luggage taken from CCTV in the city centre on the day of the attack.

Anyone with information is asked to call the anti-terror hotline anonymously on 0800 789321 or send images and footages to police by visiting the UK Police Image Appeal website.


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