23:14 GMT26 February 2020
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    On 22 May 2017 suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a device in the foyer of Manchester Arena moments after an Ariana Grand concert, killing 22 people. His brother Hashem has been extradited from Libya to face trial in connection with the attack.

    A prosecutor has told a jury at the Old Bailey in London that Hashem Abedi is “as guilty” of the murder of 22 people as his brother, who set off the explosion and killed himself.

    Abedi, 22, who was extradited from Libya last year, denies 22 counts of murder, attempted murder and conspiring to cause explosions.

    ​Speaking at the start of the eight week trial, prosecutor Duncan Penny QC, said: "The prosecution's case is that this defendant is just as guilty of the murder of the 22 people killed as was his brother.

    "He is equally guilty of the attempted murder of many others and in doing so he was guilty of agreeing with his brother to cause an explosion or explosions of a nature likely to endanger life," added Mr Penny.

    Thousands of fans of the US pop star Ariana Grande attended the concert in Manchester in May 2017 when Salman Abedi set off the bomb in his backpack in the foyer of the arena.

    People attend a vigil for the victims of last week's attack at a pop concert at Manchester Arena, in central Manchester, Britain May 29, 2017
    © REUTERS / Andrew Yates
    People attend a vigil for the victims of last week's attack at a pop concert at Manchester Arena, in central Manchester, Britain May 29, 2017

    The blast killed 17 women and girls and five men, wounded 264 and left at least 670 other people with devastating psychological scars.

    Mr Penny said the brothers planned the bombing together for months and he said Hashem obtained the chemicals needed for the bomb and bought the metal containers used to build it.

    He said Hashem also bought the screws and nails which were packed into the bomb to maximise its impact and organised a flat in Manchester where the device was made and stored.

     Ariana Grande performs during the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack at Emirates Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, Britain on June 4, 2017
    © REUTERS / Danny Lawson/One Love Manchester
    Ariana Grande performs during the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack at Emirates Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, Britain on June 4, 2017

    Mr Penny said: "The bomb which was detonated was self-evidently designed to kill and maim as many people as possible. It was packed with lethal shrapnel and it was detonated in the middle of a crowd in a very public area - the intention being to kill and to inflict maximum damage."

    He said Salman Abedi’s body was dismembered by the force of the blast.

    ​Mr Penny said first responders attended a scene of “destruction and chaos." 

    The Abedi family originated in Libya but settled in Manchester.

    But Salman and Hashem became radicalised and returned to their native Libya in 2016, said Mr Penny.

    ​The trial has yet to hear why Salman Abedi chose to target an Arianna Grande concert.

    A few weeks after the bombing, Grande returned to Manchester and put on a special charity concert, where she was joined by other singers, including Manchester music legends Oasis.

    The trial continues.

    Tags:
    Salman Abedi, Manchester, Ariana Grande, 2017 Manchester Arena bombing
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