BOURNEMOUTH and Poole have issued messages of support following last night’s terror attack in Manchester that has so far claimed the lives of 22 people including children.

There were also 59 people injured in the blast at the Manchester Arena pop concert after a suicide bomber targeted parents and children moments after a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.

It is understood that the attack was carried out by a lone male who was killed in the explosion.

Now people have come together to send messages of support to all those affected by the brutal attack.

Team Rector of Bournemouth's Town Centre Parish, Revd Ian Terry told the Daily Echo he was “shocked” to hear the news and that his thoughts and prayers were with those affected.

He was staying in Manchester – very close to where the attack took place – at the same time that the attack occurred in Westminster when six people, including the attacker, died and around 50 people were injured.

“I know for sure, from my own friendly relationships with our very peace-loving Muslim community here in Bournemouth, that this suicide bomber’s activities are the activities of a small violent minority and they don’t represent the majority of Muslims in this country who will be as shocked and horrified as I am,” he said.

“I want to stand together with all peace-loving citizens against this horrific action. As we unite, everyone of all faiths and none, in our expression of outrage against this horrors it is right for us to ensure that this doesn’t escalate into the demonising of ethnic groups. That would be ‘playing the game’.

“If, as a result of this dreadful attack, different ethnic groups demonised each other that would be the result that the suicide bomber wants. We don’t want to give them that.”

Rabbi Maurice Michaels, of the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue, said: “My first thoughts are for those who are critically ill and the bereaved families.

“My heart just goes out to them.

“We go to something like a concert to have fun and to have lives taken away like this is just barbarous.

“There is quite clearly a total disregard for the sanctity of life here.

“All they seemed intent to do – wherever they are from - is cause as much fear as they possibly can. Why I don’t know. I don’t know where they think it will take them. I can see no motivation for doing this.

“It is senseless.

“If they think that somehow they will be rewarded for this in heaven then they have a very warped idea.

“It is not a representation of religion or faith.

“One just feels almost helpless but yet there is actually a lot we can do to support the bereaved and make sure the injured are properly able to recover.

“There are also emotional concerns to even those who were physically fine.

“What do they do the next time?

“These were young people who have their whole lives ahead of them. It doesn’t bare thinking about. All the potential that has just been stolen from these people and their families – it just makes you want to cry.”

Imam Majid Yasin said: “We are very sad today. We condemn whoever did this, deeply.

“These people are the enemy of humanity and an enemy of themselves.

“They are criminals. I can’t say anything about them apart from they are criminals.

“The Government should take hard action against these people because they are killers.”

He said that he watched the horrors unfold on television last night and called the actions “disgusting”.

“These people should not be allowed within our society,” he added.

“This community condemns this deeply and our thoughts go to the families.”

Superintendent Mike Rogers, of Dorset Police, said: “Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the events in Manchester and our deepest condolences are with the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives.

“Dorset Police stand with Greater Manchester Police and other forces across the country. Public safety is our priority and we have a variety of established operational tactics that are regularly used to ensure that our local communities and businesses are both well prepared and protected.

“Our aim is to reduce the risk to the public and maximise public awareness. As is normal practice, we are in touch with national anti-terrorism coordinators.

“A this time there has been no change to the threat level in the UK but this is reviewed on a national basis and Dorset Police will, if necessary, respond accordingly. We regularly review intelligence and information and would like to reassure the public that at this time there is no specific threat to Dorset. The public should be alert but not alarmed.

“The advice remains the same – members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321.”

Bournemouth mayor Cllr Eddie Coope said: "My thoughts very much turn to Manchester today. I am deeply saddened by the tragic event that has taken place. 

"I am thinking of the victims and their families and extend my sincere condolences to those grieving this immeasurable loss."

Mayor of Poole, Cllr Lindsay Wilson, said: “My thoughts, and the thoughts of everyone at the Borough of Poole, are with all affected by last night’s senseless attack in Manchester. My heart goes out to all involved, their families and friends.”

Both Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole will be flying their flags at half-mast today as a message of support to Manchester.

More follows.