Saturday 16 December 2017

'Beautiful little girl' Saffie (8) was youngest victim of cowardly bomber

Saffie Rose Roussos
Saffie Rose Roussos
Georgina Callander
John Atkinson

A schoolgirl aged just eight years old was one of 22 people killed when ISIS suicide bomber Salman Abedi blew himself up at a packed pop concert in Manchester last night.

ISIS said that Abebi, who they labelled a 'soldier', set off the bomb packed with ballbearings at the Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena.

119 people were injured in the cowardly attack in the worst terror attack Britain has seen since the 7/7 London bombings.

Eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, 18-year-old Georgina Callander and 26-year-old John Atkinson were among those killed. Of the injured, 59 were taken to hospital - 12 of whom were children - and 60 were treated at the scene.

Traumatised families have told how nuts and bolts tore into young music fans when the blast was detonated in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena moments after a concert by the US popstar ended.


The suicide bomber, who was known to authorities, died inside the arena and police carried out a controlled explosion at what is believed to be his home during raids around the city yesterday.

A 23-year-old man, believed to be a brother of Salman Abedi, was arrested by anti-terror officers in the south of the city. Security sources revealed that initial analysis of the 'sophisticated' device suggests it was made by an expert. Eight-year-old victim Saffie Roussos has been described as 'simply beautiful'.

Chris Upton - the headteacher of her school, Tarleton Community Primary - said: "The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking."

"Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair," he said.

"Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support from Lancashire County Council to help us do that.

"We are a tight-knit school and wider community and will give each other the support that we need at this difficult time.'

The first victim to be named after the devastating blast had yesterday tweeted to the pop star, telling her how excited she was for the gig.

Georgina Callander (18) had tragically written to the pop star yesterday, saying: "SO EXCITED TO SEE U TOMORROW". A close friend told reporters that Georgina died after the suicide attack, with her mother at her bedside for her last moments.

Georgina, who was photographed with Ariana Grande when they met almost two years ago, has been described as a girl who "lit up the room" with the teen one of the 22 killed in the horrific attack.

Friends paid tribute to Georgina, with one writing: "Rest in peace Gina. I love you so incredibly much, you deserved the world & more. I'm so lucky to have met you and known you".


John Atkinson, who was killed in the horrific terror attack that saw concert-goers targeted in Manchester last night has been remembered as an "amazing" individual. Tributes to John flooded in last night.

One friend wrote: "You may of broke our heart but you're never break our spirit r.i.p. Manchester and my heart goes out to John and the Atkinson Family & friends". Another wrote: "Rip John Atkinson. Thoughts and prayers to your family. What a mad, sad world".

The family is now raising money for the young man, saying the "one in a million" man deserved a proper send off.

One of two missing teens who travelled to the concert from a remote Scottish island has been found seriously ill in hospital after a desperate search that lasted almost 20 hours. Laura MacIntyre was located in intensive care in Manchester suffering from serious burns after her distraught parents flew to the city to join the search for her.

She had failed to reappear after the concert with her school friend Eilidh MacLeod, 14, who was still unaccounted for last night.

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