Manchester bombing: 'Forgive me' - attacker's final call to mum

Grande wrote that her concert, by bringing people from varied backgrounds into the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, showed the power of music to unite.

The number of people in custody in connection with this week's deadly suicide attack in Manchester increased to nine with the arrest of a 44-year-old man, police said.

So far, eight men remain in custody whereas a man and a woman were earlier released without charge, Greater Manchester police said.

"I do not want to provide those people [suspects at large] with any advantage allowing them to destroy evidence or any opportunity to counter what we have gathered", Rowley said.

As more children were named among the victims of Monday's massacre, the Libyan authorities detained the suicide bomber's father as well as one of his brothers, while police in Britain carried out fresh arrests and raids.

In a statement Friday, she said "I'll be returning to the incredibly fearless city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families".

In the wake of the attack, Grande had faced criticism from some commentators in Britain, notably Piers Morgan, who said she should have stayed and visited hospitalized survivors rather than return home.

On Tuesday, U.S. media revealed the name of the Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, and cited the information to U.S. officials before the chief of police in Manchester confirmed Abedi's identity.

The UK terror threat level remains "critical", meaning another attack could be imminent and additional Army and armed police officers are patrolling major sites, including the transport network, across the UK.

"From the day we started putting the Dangerous Woman tour together, I said that this show, more than anything else, was meant to be a safe space for my fans...this will not change that", she asserted.

Grande, who has returned to the United States, will cancel shows scheduled Thursday and Friday at London's O2 Arena as well as concerts through June 5 in Belgium, Germany, Poland and Switzerland, her management said. "We won't let this divide us".

  • Salvatore Jensen