US takes 'full responsibility' for Manchester attack leaks: Tillerson
Iran Press TV
Fri May 26, 2017 3:6PM
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States takes "full responsibility" for leaks of the British investigation into Monday's attack in Manchester, England.
"We take full responsibility for that and we obviously regret that that happened," Tillerson said as he appeared at a press conference with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London on Friday.
"With respect to the release of information inappropriately… certainly we condemn that," he said.
British police suspended intelligence sharing with the United States on Thursday after the details about the alleged 22-year-old attacker, Salman Abedi, were leaked to the press.
The British government blamed the Trump administration for the incident.
At least 22 people lost their lives and dozens more wounded after Abedi allegedly detonated his explosives at a concert hall in Manchester on Monday.
British medical sources have raised the number of injuries to 119. Twenty of those with traumatic injuries are still in critical condition. Daesh terrorists have claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to a British government source, British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the issue of the intelligence leaks with President Donald Trump on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday.
"She expressed the view that the intelligence sharing relationship we have with the U.S. is hugely important and valuable, but that the information that we share should be kept secure," the source said.
British officials have expressed outrage over the US leaking of classified evidence tied to the Manchester attack and UK police have stopped sharing information on the suicide bombing with the US.
The New York Times on Wednesday released some of the initial evidence that British police had gathered from the scene of the bombing at the concert led by American singer Ariana Grande in Manchester Arena the day before.
The report included pictures of the remnants of a backpack and a battery that investigators believed were used by Abedi to carry and detonate an improvised explosive device (IED).
Trump said on Thursday the leaks are "deeply troubling" and vowed "to get to the bottom of this."
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