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Man accused in Manchester, U.K. stabbings arrested under terrorism law

WATCH: Man arrested after five stabbed at U.K. shopping mall

A man held in connection with a series of stabbings that injured several people at a shopping centre in northwestern England was arrested for a suspected terrorist act Friday, police said.

Police in the city of Manchester said a man in his 40s who was originally detained on assault charges was arrested on a charge of “the commission, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism.”

The suspect allegedly entered the Arndale shopping centre in central Manchester at 11:15 a.m. Friday armed with a large knife, police said. Two unarmed police officers confronted them, but he chased them as they called for urgent assistance.

Police officers are seen outside the Arndale shopping centre after several people were stabbed in Manchester, Britain October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter PowellGreater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said authorities do not know the motive behind the attack.

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“It appears random, is certainly brutal and of course, extremely frightening for anyone who witnessed it,” Jackson said.

Counterterror police were leading an investigation Friday into a stabbing incident that injured four people at a shopping centre in northwestern England, as police keep an open mind on the motive.

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Police initially reported five people injured but later reduced the number. Two women and a man were hospitalized.

Paramedics assessed an injured woman who wasn’t stabbed and didn’t go to the hospital.