Islamic terrorism in Spain: 13 people die in Barcelona, attack foiled in Cambrils
Isis has claimed the attack on Barcelona. The author of the terrorist attack is at large. The Catalan police arrest two people. A white Fiat van crashed into people on the Rambla pedestrian boulevard. The confirmed dead are 13, hundreds injured. In Cambrils (Tarragona), five terrorists shot dead by the police.
Barcelona (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Islamic State has attacked the heart of Barcelona and caused at least 13 dead and over 100 injured in the most serious attack on Spain since the first jihadist attack of March 11, 2004.
At 16.50 yesterday, a van crashed into hundreds of people walking on La Rambla, the city's renowned tourist attraction. Overnight, the police foiled an attack on Cambrils (Tarragona). Five terrorists, armed with explosive belts, were killed by Spanish security personnel. The Mossos d'Esquadra, a Catalan police body, confirmed that it was a coordinated attack.
The author of the attack in Barcelona is at large and remains unknown. The Catalan police arrested two people. One of them is Driss Oukabir, who in all likelihood rented the vehicle. The other, whose identity is unknown, was arrested in Alcanar (Tarragona), where the Mossos suspect that he was preparing an explosive device along with other people.
In the last few hours, Isis has claimed responsibility for yesterday's attack through one of its agencies. The terrorists sowed terror and chaos, which spread throughout the afternoon in the center of the city. The main arteries in Barcelona were evacuated, while the police launched a man hunt.
Ten minutes before 5pm, a white Fiat van crashed into people on the Rambla pedestrian boulevard. At that time there were many people, mostly tourists. The vehicle crashed through more than a hundred people at " speed," said Josep Lluís Trapero, head of the Mossos d'Esquadra, at 23.00 yesterday. The car traveled for around 500 meters in a manner similar to the jihadist attacks of Berlin, Nice and Stockholm. The absence of pedestrian crossings made it easier for the van to enter the central area of Barcelona's boulevard. Finally, the van stopped at Joan Miró's mosaic at the Liceu Theater. The driver abandoned the vehicle and fled. "We have no proof that this person was armed," said Trapero.
According to police sources, Oukabir, one of the arrested, arrived in Barcelona from Morocco on August 13. It is the person who rented the van at Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, a town near Barcelona. The same sources add that a Spanish passport was found inside the Fiat van.
The second arrested for ties with the attacks was captured at Alcanar (Tarragona). The man was born in Melilla but his identity has not been confirmed. He has been linked, in all probability, to an explosion from gas accumulation that occurred on August 16 in a building, where one person died and seven others have been injured. The building was completely demolished. Police chief Trapero revealed yesterday that the Mossos "clearly link" the Barcelona attack with Alcanar incident. The Catalan police, in fact, work to the hypothesis that terrorists were preparing an explosive device there.
Hours after the bombing of Barcelona, the Spanish police foiled another terrorist attack. The Mossos d'Esquadra killed at least five terrorists who tried to carry out an attack in Cambrils (Tarragona). The cops fired at four of the attackers, who were on board a vehicle and had explosive belts. The fifth terrorist was shot dead hours later when he was identified by a police helicopter. The Spanish security forces operation left six injured, including three Mossos agents. The most serious is a woman who was stabbed by the fifth terrorist during his escape.
The Mossos are working on the hypothesis that the terrorists killed in Cambrils are linked to the events in Barcelona and Alcanar. After the shoot-out with terrorists, the agents have operated controlled explosions to deactivate explosives. The second terrorist attack yesterday in Spain occurred about 1:15 pm when a Mossos patrol stopped a tourist vehicle near the Cambrils Nautical Club. Several eyewitnesses, Dutch tourists, argue that the terrorists first crashed into three people and then ignored police signals. The terrorists escaped from the vehicle armed with explosives, the Mossos injured one of them in one leg before the conflict broke out.