May 23, 2017 / 11:52 AM / 3 months ago

Stars from Manchester and beyond express shock at bomb attack

Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, May 23, 2017.Andrew Yates

LONDON (Reuters) - Entertainment and sports celebrities took to social media to express sadness and shock in the aftermath of the bomb attack in Manchester that killed at least 22 people.

The attack occurred on Monday evening in the foyer of the city's Arena stadium, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had just finished performing a concert. Many of those in attendance were young teenagers and children.

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue posted on Twitter that she was "absolutely heartbroken for Manchester", while American singer Cher offered her prayers for the city, saying that she "had special times there from youth & beyond".

Icons from Manchester's storied music scene were also quick to express their grief. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher tweeted that he was "in total shock and absolutely devastated".

Vehicles are seen near a police cordon outside the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, May 23, 2017.Andrew Yates

Johnny Marr, former guitarist in the seminal Manchester band The Smiths, wrote that the city "stands together", while Dave Haslam, a former DJ at the city's legendary but now defunct Hacienda nightclub, wrote: "You've got the wrong city if you think hate will tear us apart".

Many stars from across the Atlantic, including some of Grande's friends and colleagues, also took to social media.

Singer Selena Gomez tweeted that her "thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected", while singer Katy Perry posted that she was "broken hearted for the families tonight. Broken hearted for Ari. Broken hearted for the state of this world".

Other U.S. stars including Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, Pink and Bruno Mars expressed their sympathies.

Also chiming in were prominent players from Manchester's two Premier League soccer teams, Manchester United and Manchester City. Wayne Rooney, the England and Manchester United forward, said news of the attack was "devastating", while Manchester City's Ivory Coast midfielder, Yaya Toure, called it "terrible".

Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; editing by Mark Heinrich

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