Manchester attack latest: Fears of second plot with soldiers to guard Buckingham Palace and Downing Street

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Armed soldiers are to guard “key locations” across London as Britain is on critical terror alert amid fears Manchester attacker Salman Abedi did not act alone.

Scotland Yard has confirmed that troops are being deployed to sites including Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, the Palace of Westminster and embassies.

The military will replace armed police at many locations underOperation Temperer, which is being enacted after security experts warned the Government that another terrorist attack could be imminent.

The authorities are seeking to establish if Abedi, the Manchester suicide bomber who left 22 people dead, was part of a wider network.

Salman Abedi
Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi CREDIT: SKY NEWS

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said on Wednesday that it is “likely” he was not acting alone as she confirmed up to 3,800 troops can be deployed across the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the threat level to the highest possible rating, meaning another atrocity is expected. She said a “wider group of individuals” could have been involved in the Manchester Arena blast rather than just Abedi.

Theresa May raises UK terrorist alert to ‘critical’ after Manchester bombing

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Monday night’s attack at a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande left 22 people dead, including an eight-year-old girl, and dozens injured. Click here to read more about the victims.

Twenty people remain in “critical care”, medics said on Wednesday, with people suffering from “horrific injuries” including major organ damage and potential loss of  limbs.

Three of the known victims of the attack
Three of the known victims of the attack – from left: Saffie-Rose Roussos, Georgina Callander and John Atkinson

The decision to raise Britain’s terror threat level for the first time since 2013 was taken at a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee.

Scotland Yard said the military will be working under Scotland Yard’s command structure to provide “static armed guarding at key locations”. This will free up armed officers to carry out patrols”.

Commander Jane Connors, leading the London policing operation, said: “We will do all we can to protect the capital that we serve at this unsettling time. All our work is designed to make our city as hostile an environment as possible for terrorists to plan and operate.”

Manchester attack – through the camera lens

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Counter-terrorism agencies have mounted a massive inquiry into the outrage – the worst terrorist attack since 52 innocent people were killed in the July 7 bombings in London in 2005.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terror group claimed responsibility for the barbaric attack, which involved a home-made device packed with nuts and bolts which exploded in the venue’s foyer as thousands of young people were leaving.

London mayor on armed soldiers on streets of capital

As the military prepare to guard sites around the capital, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has addressed concerns over the critical threat level.

Sadiq Khan: People shouldn’t be troubled by military

How DO you explain the horrors of terrorism to children?

The British Red Cross has issued advice on how to support children following traumatic events.

Sarah Davidson, Head of Psychosocial at the charity, said:

“The key, when explaining an event such as a terrorist attack to children, is not going into detail. You shouldn’t lie but you also want to keep it low key.

“Offer a simple, direct explanation that is age appropriate. It’s fine to say, for example, that there was an explosion in town. Avoid euphemism and graphic detail. Keep it as simple as possible.

“It is really important to keep normal routines going, such as school and bed time.

“Some common signs that may signal a child’s distress include bed wetting, children becoming clingy, or afraid to go outdoors. Their sleep might be disturbed and their diet might change. You should watch out for children acting younger than their age.

“However, a presence of these signs doesn’t mean that your child isn’t coping – simply that they may need more support from their parents and carers. Like adults, children are fundamentally resilient. Reassure them that their home and school are safe places, and that these events, while tragic, rarely happen.”

Meanwhile, the Red Cross has also launched an appeal in partnership with Manchester City Council to raise funds for people affected by Monday’s attack – the Manchester Emergency Fund to ensure that victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties.

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For more advice on how to explain the horrors of terrorism to children, click here.

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