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Hundreds of Manchester arena attack survivors file lawsuit against MI5

Hundreds of Manchester arena attack survivors file lawsuit against MI5

World

In May 2017, 22 people were killed and another 100 injured when a bomber detonated his device

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(AFP) - More than 250 survivors of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack have filed a lawsuit against Britain's domestic intelligence services, their lawyers said in a statement Sunday.

In May 2017, 22 people were killed and another 100 injured when a bomber detonated his device at an Ariana Grande pop concert.

An official enquiry found in March 2023 that the attack might have been stopped if Britain's MI5 security service had acted on vital intelligence.

"Legal teams representing injured survivors and families of the deceased from the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 can confirm that they have collectively submitted a group claim on behalf of more than 250 clients to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT)," the three law firms involved in the lawsuit -- Hudgell Solicitors, Slater & Gordon and Broudie Jackson Canter -- said in a statement sent to AFP.

The lawyers said they could not give more details at this stage.

The suicide attack, as concert-goers were leaving the show at the Manchester Arena in northern England, was carried out by 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was from Manchester but of Libyan descent.

Inspired by the Islamic State group, he used a homemade shrapnel bomb to target crowds of mostly young people who had been attending the concert by the US pop star, as well as parents who had come to pick up their children.

The IPT is an independent body that investigates complaints from people who believe they have been a victim of unlawful action by a public authority using covert investigative techniques and those targeting the intelligence services.

Delays in relation to one of two pieces of intelligence led to the "missing of an opportunity to take a potentially important investigative action", John Saunders, the chairman of the 2023 enquiry, said in his report last year.

MI5 director-general Ken McCallum said at the time that he was "profoundly sorry that MI5 did not prevent the attack".