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LONDON — Police have arrested a man on suspicion of planning and carrying out a terrorist act after at least four people were stabbed in a shopping center in the English city of Manchester on Friday.
Police said that five people were hurt in the attack, but the ambulance service said only four people were taken to a local hospital. None of the injuries are life-threatening.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson told a press conference that while the suspect was initially arrested for serious assault, he has now been arrested on "suspicion of the preparation, commission and instigation of an act of terrorism."
Jackson said the attack began at 11.15 a.m. (6:15 a.m. ET) when the suspect entered the shopping center armed with a large knife and began "lunging and attacking people."
Two unarmed police community liaison officers were at the scene and were chased by the suspect as they called for backup.
"Although the injuries are nasty we are told that thankfully that none are life-threatening," Jackson said.
He said that within five minutes, the man had been challenged and arrested outside the shopping center in the city of Manchester, which is about 200 miles north of London.
Jackson added that the terrorism arrest would remind locals of the 2017 Manchester Arena bomb, in which an Islamist terrorist detonated a homemade explosive outside an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more.
"This is bound to bring back memories of 2017. At this time we do not believe that there is anyone else involved in this attack but we will be constantly keeping this under review," he said.
Police said one 19-year-old woman was taken to a local hospital with stab wounds, along with another woman whose age was not released. Both were said to be in a stable condition.
A man in his 50s was also taken to a local hospital with stab wounds, while a woman in her 40s who was not stabbed was assessed at the scene by paramedics and did not go to the hospital.
Unverified social media posts showed police detaining a man in the city's central shopping district by using a taser. A large police presence, including multiple cars and vans, could also be seen.