Counter-terrorism police are investigating after five people were stabbed at a shopping centre in central Manchester.

A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have said.

North West Ambulance Service said they were called out at 11.17am to a stabbing incident.

An armed police officer outside the Arndale Centre in Manchester
Image: An armed police officer outside the Arndale Centre in Manchester

In a statement, GMP said: “Specialist officers are continuing to respond to an incident at the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester city centre.

“We can confirm that five people have been stabbed and taken to hospital.

Police running through the Arndale Centre in Manchester. Pic: @GrizzleMarine /PA Wire
Image: Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that five people were stabbed at the Arndale centre. Pic: @GrizzleMarine /PA Wire

“In these early stages we are keeping an open mind about the motivation of this terrible incident and the circumstances as we know them.

“Given the location of the incident and its nature officers from Counter Terrorism Police North West are leading the investigation as we determine the circumstances.

Police vehicles at the scene. Pic: @DaveBespoke
Image: Police vehicles at the scene. Pic: @DaveBespoke

“A man in his 40s – who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of serious assault – remains in custody for questioning.”

The force said in a statement: “Officers are in attendance and early enquiries, suggest that several people have been stabbed.

“A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault. He has been taken to custody for questioning.”

A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault, Sky sources say. @Richard_T_Wells
Image: A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault, Sky sources say. @Richard_T_Wells

Footage from the scene appeared to show an officer pointing a Taser gun at a man lying on the ground.

Other social media content showed police officers running through the centre and several emergency services vehicles parked outside.

Police vehicles outside the Arndale Centre in Manchester
Image: Police vehicles outside the Arndale Centre in Manchester

Did you witness the attack? Get in touch to tell us your story…
:: WhatsApp – 07583 000853
:: Email – news@sky.com
:: ‘Your Report’ on Sky News apps

Witnesses say that people have been evacuated from the Arndale Shopping Centre.

A shop worker, who gave his name only as Jordan, 23, described a man “running around with a knife lunging at multiple people, one of which came into my store visibly shaken with a small graze.

“Soon after, security staff told all retail staff to close their doors and move the public to the back of the stores.”

Jordan, who has only been working at the centre for a few months, said the attack took place on the ground floor.

Freddie Houlder, 22, from Market Drayton was in the Arndale Centre when he heard “a load of screams just outside” the shop he was in.

He said a woman then came into the shop and told others “a guy just ran past the shop and tried to stab me”.

Mr Houlder added: “Luckily she had quite a thick jacket – she thought originally it was a fake knife because of how easily it grazed off but police came in and said it was a real knife and she burst in to tears.”

More follows…

Read the full story here