Theresa May: Manchester attack targeted 'youngest people with cold calculation'

UK Prime Minster Theresa May has spoken out strongly against the bomb attack on a concert filled with young people, calling it the worst to strike northern England in history.

"This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening, cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenceless, children and young people," she said on Tuesday morning.

"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young people not as a scene to cherish, but as an opportunity for carnage."

Twenty two people were killed after an IED was set off near one of the exits of Manchester Arena on Monday night. Fifty nine others were injured.

Many of the victims, attending a concert by popstar Ariana Grande, were children.

Ms May said the bomber, who died in the attack, "deliberately [chose] the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately".

The attacker has since been identified by police, who believe he carried out the crime alone, but are investigating whether he was working with others.

"It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack, an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation," Ms May said.

The first victim of the attack to be named has been a 16-year-old, who only hours earlier had tweeted her excitement at attending Grande's concert.

And video from the concert highlights how terribly the night went wrong. It went from bright lights and excitement, to fear, with bodies of the victims strewn across the ground.

"[The victims] should've been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives," Ms May said.

Her thoughts have been echoed by those who attended the concert.

One father who went to the concert with his two daughters, Sophie and Abigail, told local media he was in disbelief after the attack.

"Why? What's the point?" he said.

"I mean, we brought our children out for a day out thinking we'll have a really good concert, they'll remember the concert but probably for the wrong reasons. Innocent people."

Armed police have since been deployed around Manchester and the terror threat level remains at 'severe'.