Police in the northern British city of Manchester said Tuesday that a stabbing attack at the train station overnight is being treated as terrorism.
On New Year’s Eve, shortly before 9 p.m., a man wielding a knife attacked a couple in their 50s and a police officer at Manchester’s Victoria Station. Officers tackled the suspect, who has been arrested but not yet charged.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said two people were seriously injured by the attacker but the police officer stabbed while subduing him has already been released from the hospital. He commended the bravery of the four officers involved in stopping the attacker.
“Last night we experienced a horrific attack on people out to simply enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Manchester,” he said in a statement. “We are treating this as a terrorist investigation which is being led by counter terrorism officers with support from Greater Manchester Police.”
He added that they worked through the night to determine identity of the suspect. Police are now searching for an address in the Cheetham Hill neighborhood of the city.
Sam Clack, a BBC producer who was at the train station on Monday night, told BBC that the police detained the suspect with pepper spray and a taser.
“I heard the guy shout, as part of a sentence, as part of a sentence, he shouted, ‘Allah.’ And then I thought, that doesn’t sound good,” he said, referring to the Arabic word for God.
Clack also later tweeted that the suspect had a “long kitchen knife.”
The BBC also broadcast video footage of the suspect shouting “God is greatest” in Arabic as he was being taken away by police.
Manchester was the scene of a devastating suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017 that killed 22 people.
British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted that her “thoughts are with those who were injured in the suspected terrorist attack in Manchester last night” and she thanked emergency services for their “courageous response.”