A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017.

©REUTERS/Darren Staples

(London) – The attack at the Manchester Arena on the night of May 22, 2017, was a despicable act of violence, Human Rights Watch said today.

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. 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 multiple countries worldwide, it is a stark reminder of the threat posed by individuals driven by hate or by violent or 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.