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Arndale stabbings 'unlikely to be politically or religiously motivated'

Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO
Published on October 12, 2019 - Duration: 00:32s

Arndale stabbings 'unlikely to be politically or religiously motivated'

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, speaks at the Arndale shopping centre.

A knife attack at the complex appears to have been "more mental health-related" than politically or religiously motivated, he said.

Three people are recovering from stab wounds after a man armed with a large knife lunged at shoppers on Friday morning.

A 40-year-old was arrested within five minutes on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism, and he was later detained under the Mental Health Act.

Counter-terrorism officers continue to lead the investigation and are keeping an open mind about the reasons for the attack, but it is understood no political, religious or ideological motivation has so far been uncovered.

Police have searched the man's address in Manchester as part of their inquiries.

Mr Burnham held a press conference on Saturday in the reopened Arndale, close to the scene where less than 24 hours earlier the knifeman ran amok.

He said: "Yesterday's incident in the Arndale centre was deeply distressing for those caught up in it, but of course for everybody across our whole area.

"As the city returns to normality this morning, Greater Manchester is doing what it always does - which is to respond in a considered way, providing support to those who need it, prosecuting those responsible, and of course learning any lessons that may need to be learned.

"We think first this morning of those recovering from their injuries and I am sure I speak for everybody in Greater Manchester in wishing them a very, very speedy recovery indeed.

"This would appear to be an isolated incident so the message very much this morning is it's business as usual.

"It is important not to jump to conclusions but what I can say is that at this stage, it would appear to be more mental health-related than political or religious motivated - but of course we need to allow the police to conduct their full inquiries and we keep an open mind on that until that work is complete."

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