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Tuesday 21 November 2017

'I think that he saw Muslim children dying and wanted revenge', says Abedi's sister

Police after the blast in Manchester. Photo: Reuters
Police after the blast in Manchester. Photo: Reuters

The sister of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi believes he carried out the attack because he wanted revenge for American air strikes on Syria.

Jomana Abedi said in an interview that her brother was kind and loving and she was surprised by what he did on Monday.

At least 22 people were killed when 22-year-old Abedi detonated a device as fans left an Ariana Grande gig at Manchester Arena.

Ms Abedi said she thought he was driven by America's military attacks in the Middle East.

"I think he saw children - Muslim children - dying everywhere, and wanted revenge," she said.

"He saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge.

"Whether he got that is between him and God."

In the most recent high-profile attack in Syria last month, the US military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles from the USS Porter and USS Ross warships in the Mediterranean at the al-Shayran air base near the western city of Homs, which the Pentagon said was used to store chemical weapons.

Heartbreaking

Six Syrian soldiers were reported to have been killed in the missile strike, which destroyed as much as 90pc of the base.

Syrian officials said nine civilians, including four children, were also killed.

Ms Abedi's attempt to justify the attack was branded "abhorrent".

"There is no justification for the taking of a child's lives," said Mark Session (52), from Manchester.

"Any kid losing their life is heartbreaking, but no children in the allied air strikes have been targeted purposely unlike in Manchester.

"It is sick to justify the arena bombing in such a way. It is abhorrent in fact.

"There is no place for her comments."

Abedi's family has come under much scrutiny in the wake of the bombing.

His father, Ramadan, was arrested in the Libyan capital Tripoli and was allegedly a member of the al-Qaeda-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting group during the 1990s, according to a former Libyan security official, Abdel-Basit Haroun.

Arrested

The elder Abedi denied that he was part of the militant group.

Abedi's younger brother Hashim was also arrested in Tripoli and allegedly knew his brother was planning an attack in Manchester.

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