Jewish leaders have expressed condolences and appealed for calm after a suicide bomb attack in Manchester killed 22 people – including children – and left at least 59 others injured.
An explosion, caused by an improvised device carried by an attacker, was detonated at Manchester Arena on Monday night after a sell-out pop concert by Ariana Grande.
Police were called to reports of an explosion at 10.33pm, shortly after Grande, the US singer, had finished her performance as thousands of people streamed out of the Arena.
The Community Security Trust issued a statement urging “calm and vigilance” and cooperation with the security forces in the aftermath of the atrocity – the worst attack to hit Britain since the 2005 suicide bomb attacks.
The CST said: “Following the terrorist attack in Manchester, CST requests that our community be calm, vigilant and cooperates with security measures at UK Jewish communal locations.”
It is understood that children who attend King David Jewish school were at the concert.
Jonny Wineberg, vice-president of the Jewish Representative Council, revealed on Twitter that his daughter was leaving the venue when the bomb went off.
Mr Wineberg said: “So grateful our 15-year-old was unharmed last night. Our thoughts & prayers for all those hurt and killed.”
Herschel Gluck, the president of Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer security group, said:” We need to fight evil, not become evil. Manchester and the UK needs a lot of love and care.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “When we are attacked by hate we respond with love. Nothing and no one can divide us.”
The Board of Deputies said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those caught up in the horrific attack in Manchester last night.”
In a statement, the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester said it was hard ot comprehend the horror of the attack.
The statement said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and the families of the bereaved. This was a terrorist attack on children and young people in our city.
"Whoever has committed this atrocity does not represent any community in our city, they represent evil, hatred and despair. They will never prevail. We will respond with love.
"We call on all people in our city to reach out to those whom we may see as different and ensure that they know we stand together. We stand together with all people of faith who condemn this atrocity and have sent their prayers and messages of support for Manchester."
Liverpool MP Luciana Berger said: “My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible events in Manchester last night.”
Pop star Ariana Grande tweeted: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "appalling terrorist attack."
In a statement, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said: “I am sending condolences to the families of those murdered and wishes of a speedy recovery to the wounded,” PM Netanyahu said in a statement. “Terrorism is a global threat and it is incumbent on the enlightened countries to defeat it everywhere.”
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog also offered his condolences. “A horrific attack in Manchester. My thoughts and condolences are with the British people, who I know will never be defeated by terror,” he writes on Twitter.
A tweet from Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, said: "A sad morning here in @TelAviv as our hearts go out to the people of #Manchester. Tonight we will light the Municipality with Union Jack."
Sir Howard Bernstein, who stood down as chief executive of Manchester City Council last month, said: “The one thing that’s absolutely clear is hate will not divide Manchester. Picked the wrong city”.
World Jewish Congress president Ronald S Lauder condemned the attack as "despicable and horrendous".
Police confirmed on Tuesday morning that the attack was carried out by a lone suicide bomber who was carrying “an improvised explosive device”.
More than 240 calls were made to the emergency services, with responders including 60 ambulances flooding the area and more than 400 police officers deployed as part of the operation.
Announcing that the death toll had risen, Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said: "What I can confirm is that there are children among the deceased."
The General Election campaign has been suspended in the wake of the terror attack and Prime Minister Theresa May is chairing an emergency Cobra meeting at 9am.
A large cordon remains in place around the arena and nearby Manchester Victoria Station, which was evacuated during the incident and remains closed, while forensic investigators gather evidence.
Police have set up an emergency number - 0161 856 9400 - and appealed for concert-goers and witnesses to provide police with footage from the scene if they believe it can assist with the investigation.