London, May 23, 2017 – Following the attack at the Manchester Arena on the night of May 22, 2017, Human Rights Watch issued the statement below.

The attack at the Manchester Arena on the night of May 22, 2017, was a despicable act of violence.

According to official sources, at least 22 people were killed in the bombing, and 59 more injured, some critically. Some of the dead and injured are children.

Human Rights Watch expresses its deepest sympathies to all those affected by last night’s attack. It occurred just after a concert by a US artist popular with children and young people, and was clearly intended to cause serious loss of life. There are media reports that the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

This attack, the largest such loss of life in the city, comes some two decades after the 1996 Arndale bombing in Manchester which left more than 200 people injured. It is also the deadliest attack of its kind in the United Kingdom since the London bombings of July 7, 2005.

Following mass-casualty attacks this year in Istanbul, Mogadishu and Gao, Mali, as well as London, Quebec City, St. Petersburg and Stockholm, it is a stark reminder of the threat posed by individuals driven by hate or by violent extremist views.

The principles of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and tolerance remain the strongest bulwarks against the fear, hate and division that those who commit these attacks seek to sow.