2017 has been a formidable time for the residents of England, United Kingdom. A string of terrorist activity in the cities of Manchester and London has dented the public sphere, instilling a sense of fear in the minds of civilians.
On May 22nd, after a concert in the Manchester Arena, a suicide bomber triggered a homemade explosive; thereby killing 22 people and injuring 116 others. Many of the victims of this horrific incident were children and teenagers who had simply been at the arena to enjoy their concert experience. The attacker targeted the exit foyer which housed the box office, ensuring that the effect of the bomb was significant. Police have identified the culprit as being of Manchester origin, with a track record of previous criminal activity. A total of 16 people were arrested in association to the Manchester attack.
Even the attacker’s flat was raided, which disclosed substantial evidence. While the police are still looking into possible connections that the terrorist might have had, the government has declared the threat level to be critical. Soldiers are being assigned to specific areas.
The civilians, on the other hand, have taken to battling this extreme hate with love. A benefit concert was held recently, which showcased famous artists such as Katy Perry, the Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande etc. Around 50K people turned up for this concert. This goes on to prove that the people of England will remain undeterred in the face of such challenges. The entire event was heartrending and is said to have collected $13 million for the victims.
Soon after, on 3rd June, three terrorists ploughed into pedestrians on the London Bridge using a white van. The attackers, then, left the van and proceeded to stabbing pedestrians. They were shot dead by the police, but not before they succeeded in killing 7 civilians. 48 people were injured, of which 18 are in critical condition. They were immediately rushed off to hospitals nearby. Some people haven’t been accounted for, after the incident. Their families are appealing for help. So far, there has been no news. The incident took place in a crowded area, surrounded by eateries. 12 people were arrested, but later on were released. While this is undoubtedly an astonishing experience, witness interviews show the immense hope that the people have for humanity. A moment of silence was held on the bridge for the victims of the attack.
The London Bridge incident mirrors the Westminster Bridge attack that occurred earlier, in March 2017, wherein a terrorist went on a rampage, bulldozing into pedestrians. Around 50 people were seriously injured as a result. All of these attacks, preceding the national election are bound to be addressed, as opposing parties compete for power. The important question is what more can be done to quell such atrocities? How much longer before public spaces are on lockdown and the people are compelled to stay indoors?
Contrary to what is known about these terrorists, let us use our knowledge and strength to come together in this time of dire need; and fight hate. One Love, One World.