UK threat level raised to critical after warning of "imminent" attack

Armed soldiers instead of police could be deployed at public events as Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain’s terror level has been raised to critical.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Armed police patrol the streets near to Manchester Arena in central Manchester, England, Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Britain will deploy soldiers into the streets to boost security as the country raised its terror threat to the highest level of critical after the Manchester attack, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Prime Minister May said the independent body which sets the threat level had recommended it be raised after a man named by police as Salman Abedi set off an improvised bomb on Monday night in a concert performed by US pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester.

As officials hunted for accomplices of the suicide bomber, May warned another attack could be "imminent."

''It has now concluded on the basis of today's investigations that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical. This means that not only an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent," May said in a televised statement from her Downing Street Office after a meeting of the government's crisis response committee.

''This means that armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sites will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations,'' said May.

''You might also see military personnel deployed at certain events such as concerts and sports matches, helping the police to keep the public safe,'' she said.

Children were among the 22 deaths resulting from the bombing at Manchester Arena after the concert on Monday night.

The threat level had been at the second-highest rung of "severe" for several years.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

TRTWorld and agencies