13 people dead in Barcelona terror attack as van crashes into crowd at Las Ramblas

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No less than 13 individuals have died and 100 have been injured after a van furrowed into a crowd of people in Las Ramblas region of Barcelona, in an attack that mirrors the spate of recent atrocities by terrorists who used vehicles to ram down civilians across Europe.

Catalan authorities affirmed that 13 individuals have been killed and 15 individuals are severely injured following the attack in the area popular with tourists.

A Belgian national is among the dead, said Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders.

Catalonia’s Regional President Carles Puigdemont told a news meeting two suspects have been captured regarding the assault.

Another man has been killed in a shootout with police on the edges of the city yet it is unsubstantiated whether he is one of the suspects.

It remains unclear how many attackers were involved in the terror attack.

Isis have claimed responsibility for the attack, the group’s Amaq news agency said.

Police have released a picture of the man who allegedly rented the van used in the attack and is one of the two suspects arrested by police.

Spanish media named him as Driss Oukabir, who is described as a man in his twenties believed to be born in Morocco.

Two armed men were also reported to have entered a restaurant near the site of the crash, something which Catalan police later dismissed.

A second van linked to the attack has been found in the small town of Vic about 69 kilometres away from Barcelona, authorities have said.

The protocols for a terror attack have been activated.

The van entered the pedestrian street from Placa de Catalunya and reportedly zigzagged across the street before crashing into a kiosk on La Rambla.

 

 

The El Pais newspaper reported that the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot and that police are looking for a man about 1.70 metres tall, wearing a white and blue stripped shirt.

People are being evacuated from Las Ramblas area as police have launched a manhunt.

Meanwhile a driver has ran over two police officers at a checkpoint in Barcelona but it is unconfirmed whether the incident is linked to the van attack.

Police say a bomb squad is now checking an area on the outskirts of the city near where the drive struck the two officers.

Emergency services are urging people to avoid Las Ramblas area and requested the closure of nearby train and metro stations.

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