Inquests for Manchester Arena bombing victims to open

Updated: 

The inquests into the deaths of the Manchester Arena bombing victims will be opened today.

Senior coroner for Manchester Nigel Meadows is due to open the hearings at Manchester Civil Justice Centre at 10.30am.

The 22 victims, including seven children, died when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a device as concert-goers began leaving a show by US singer Ariana Grande on May 22.

The hearings are expected to be adjourned, pending the completion of the police investigation.

An inquest into Abedi's death will be opened at a later date.

Twenty-one people have been arrested so far in connection with the Greater Manchester Police investigation into the attack.

Fifteen have since been released without charge and six remain in custody.

Abedi's brother Hashim and father Ramadan were arrested in Libya.

Counter-terror official Ahmed bin Salem said Hashim, aged 20, knew his brother was planning the bombing.

Hashim said Abedi, 22, became radicalised while living in Manchester in 2015, Mr Bin Salem told the Associated Press.

On Tuesday, an 18-year-old man, understood to be Abedi's cousin, and two other men were released by police.

Abedi's older brother, Ismail, 23, was released on Monday, while his other cousins, Isaac Forjani, 24, and Abz Forjani, 21, both from Fallowfield, were among those freed last week.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the atrocity.