Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff

Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff

(CNN)Spain saw one of its most violent times in recent memory for a spate of incidents around the country seemed to be connected to a terror attack Thursday in Barcelona that left 13 people dead and more than 100 injured.

Also Thursday, two police officers in Barcelona were hurt when they were hit by a car, but police were unsure if that was related to the other incidents.

The deadly events started in the morning with a van plowing through crowds on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona. Authorities said of the 80 people taken to hospitals, 15 were hurt.

As police searched for the van driver, Spain’s Prime Minister called it an act of “jihadi terrorism.”

Here are the newest developments in a tragic day:

Two suspects — one from Morocco, one by the Spanish enclave of Melilla — were arrested in connection with the Barcelona assault, Catalan Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero said.

One suspect in the Barcelona assault is on the run. “The driver abandoned the van and escaped from the area,” Trapero stated.

About 115 kilometers to the southwest, there was a second attack early Friday. Catalan police tweeted that five suspected terrorists were killed in Cambrils. Emergency officials said a police officer and six civilians were injured.

One person was killed in an explosion in a home in Alcanar, around 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Barcelona.

Catalan authorities said early Friday they’re “working under the hypothesis that the terrorists taken down in Cambrils were related to the events that took place in Barcelona and Alcanar.”

A motorist ran over two police officers at a security checkpoint at Barcelona, authorities said, and the driver was located close to the city. Both officers did not require hospital treatment and suffered minor injuries, authorities said. It was uncertain whether that incident was related to the terror attack.

ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, said the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack were “soldiers of the Islamic State.” However, ISIS has not explicitly claimed responsibility.

The Barcelona attack was one of the most deadly in Spain since more than 190 people were killed in a March 2004 attack against commuter trains.
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff
Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff

Another witness who was hiding in a shop nearby heard gunshots, according to state-run broadcaster TVE24. A third said he saw a van driving “around 80” kph, or 50 mph. He said “there is no doubt it was intentional,” according to TVE24.

Ali Shirazinia, who was cycling alongside Las Ramblas at the time, told CNN he heard “a lot of screams” and saw the crowds split along the busy promenade.

Then he heard what sounded like the driver flooring the accelerator and saw a white van with blue markings come hurtling down the street. “It literally came right down the Ramblas and ran to people on every side,” he said.

“The Ramblas is full of pedestrians, street merchants, street performers, and I saw people flying into the air and everyone was running to the shops on both sides of the Ramblas, a great deal of people were shocked.”

Tourist Susan McClean told CNN she saw a “tidal wave” of people running away from Las Ramblas after the incident.

She ducked into a nearby shop and the shutters were pulled down while police sped toward the scene.

“There was clearly a great deal of distress,” she said.

McClean said she returned to her hotel one street away after leaving the shop.

Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff

Two arrests, one deadly explosion

Two suspects who were arrested were taken into custody hundreds of kilometers apart.

One suspect was arrested in Alcanar, around 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Barcelona.

Also in Alcanar, one person was killed in an explosion at a house, Trapero said, adding that incident was connected to the Barcelona attack. But Trapero didn’t say whether the arrest and explosion were tied to each other.

He did say the victim is Spanish and was not on police radar.

The other Barcelona suspect was arrested in Ripoll, about 110 kilometers (68 miles) north of Barcelona and 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Alcanar.

Government officials respond

The Catalan regional government said it was holding an emergency meeting to discuss the incident.

To facilitate police operations, the Catalan emergency services urged people via Twitter to avoid going out or undertaking any other type of movement that was not “strictly required.”

The Spanish royal family tweeted: “They are assassins, simply criminals who are not going to terrorize us. All of Spain is Barcelona. Las Ramblas will return to be everyone’s.”

The Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia expressed “condemnation and repulse” for the Barcelona attack.

“Faced with this criminal fact, the marriage of Islamic communities in Catalonia reiterates its full commitment to the fight against any kind of terrorism, and it is expected that those responsible for these attacks may be detained and brought before the courts as early as possible,” its statement said.

Barcelona officials ordered all public events to be canceled, and metro and train stations in the area were closed.

Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff

NATO chief: We stand united

World leaders were quick to voice their condemnation of the attack and offer support to Barcelona via Twitter.

“My thoughts are with all those affected. We stand united in the fight against terrorism,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

US President Donald Trump said: “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we adore you!”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also gave his support, saying: “London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack in Barcelona “revolting,” her spokesman tweeted. “We are mourning the victims of this disgusting assault in Barcelona — in solidarity and friendship side by side with the Spanish.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker branded the Barcelona attack “cowardly,” adding: “We shall never be cowed by such barbarism.”

Las Ramblas is a predominantly pedestrianized street popular among tourists in Barcelona. Extending for about three-quarters of a mile through the center of the city, the tree-lined street is especially crowded in the summer, the height of tourist season.

The promenade passes by kiosks, flower sellers, pavement cafes and bars. It includes a number of the city’s most popular sites.

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