Barcelona and Cambrils terror attacks: What we know so far

Van attack in popular tourist area of Las Ramblas leaves 13 dead and 130 injured

An eyewitness describes what he saw when a van was driven at high speed for several hundred meters onto Barcelona's famous Las Ramblas tourist area. Video: CCTV

 

A van has been deliberately driven into pedestrians on one of Barcelona’s most popular boulevards, killing 13 people, and seven people have been injured in a separate attack in Cambrils, 120km away.

Here’s what we we know so far:

Thirteen people have been killed in the attack in Barcelona claimed by Islamic State that happened shortly after 5pm local time on Thursday, Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn has confirmed.

Hours later, police killed five terror suspects in the town of Cambrils as they ran over pedestrians. The suspects were travelling in an Audi A3 and some were wearing what looked like explosive belts, but which were later confirmed to be fake. Six civilians and one police officer were injured. One woman was later confirmed dead.

The driver of the van that ploughed into crowds in Barcelona, was one of five men shot dead by police in the seaside resort of Cambrils hours later, a union official for Spain’s Civil Guard told the Associated Pres on Friday night.

Police had issued the names of four suspects that they were searching for, including Oukabir, early on Friday. However media reports on Friday evening said three of the four had been killed in Cambrils. It is now unclear if there are still any suspects at large.

Four men, including Driss Oukabirare, brother to the teenage van driver, are in custody. They are aged 21, 27, 28 and 34. Three are Moroccan and one Spanish, and police said none of them were previously known to the security services for terror-related reasons.

A judicial source said investigators believed a cell of at least eight people, possibly 12, may have been involved in the Barcelona attack and Cambrils plot and that it was planning to use gas canisters.

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Police are linking the killings in Cambril, the Barcelona attack and an explosion on Wednesday night in a house in Alcanar 200km away, in which one person died and another was injured.

The number of people injured in the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils has risen to 130, Reuters reports citing an emergency services spokesman.

Seventeen were in a critical condition and another 30 were in a serious condition, the spokesman said.

Emergency services said in a statement that the dead and injured in the two attacks were of 34 different nationalities.

So far, the youngest victim of the attacks is thought to be a three-year-old girl, Spanish media reported. She died shortly after she was taken to hospital.

Irish family

Four members of an Irish family were among the people injured in the attack, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The mother and father are originally from the Philippines and are naturalised Irish citizens, while their two children were both born in Ireland.

The father of the family was hit on the side and may need an operation, but his injuries are not life threatening, Dr Emmanuel Fernandez, consul general of the embassy of the Philippines in Madrid, told RTÉ. He also suffered leg injuries.

One of the children, a 5-year-old boy, is understood to have suffered a broken femur.

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said the whole country stands in solidarity with Barcelona, blaming “jihadi terrorism”.

In Barcelona, a white Fiat van sped at least 500 metres down Las Ramblas, which is usually packed with people, until it hit a newspaper kiosk and stopped.

Television pictures showed people lying on the ground and a crashed van, which had stopped on top of a Joan Miró mosaic in Las Ramblas, an area which is very popular with tourists.

Condonlences

World leaders, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron, condemned the attack and sent condolences to the victims.

President Michael D Higgins said the solidarity of the Irish people was with those in Barcelona and offered his condolences to the Spanish ambassador to Ireland.

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the tragic loss of life and the injuries that have taken place in Barcelona today. Barcelona has a long history of hospitality and has over the years received so many people from around the world,” Mr Higgins said.

British prime minsiter Theresa May said: “The UK stands with Spain against terror.”

US president Donald Trump took to Twitter to call on the people of Barcelona to be “tough and strong”.

Guardian Service