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Thirteen killed and tens injured in terrorist attack with a van in Barcelona

Thursday, August 17th 2017 - 21:45 UTC
Full article 9 comments
Witnesses said the white van zigzagged at high speed down Las Ramblas, a busy avenue thronged with tourists, knocking down pedestrians and leaving bodies Witnesses said the white van zigzagged at high speed down Las Ramblas, a busy avenue thronged with tourists, knocking down pedestrians and leaving bodies
Islamic State's Amaq agency said: the perpetrators are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states”  Islamic State's Amaq agency said: the perpetrators are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states”
It was the deadliest attack in Spain since 2004, when Islamist militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800 It was the deadliest attack in Spain since 2004, when Islamist militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800
President Mariano Rajoy said he flying to Barcelona. “Maximum coordination to arrest the attackers, reinforce security and attend to all those affected” President Mariano Rajoy said he flying to Barcelona. “Maximum coordination to arrest the attackers, reinforce security and attend to all those affected”

A van mowed through crowds of tourists on Barcelona's most famous avenue on Thursday, killing at least thirteen people in an attack that was claimed by Islamic State. The head of the Spanish region of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, said at least 80 people had been taken to hospital and 13 had been reported killed.

 He said two people had been arrested. It was still not clear how many attackers had been involved.

Witnesses said the white van zigzagged at high speed down Las Ramblas, a busy avenue thronged with tourists, knocking down pedestrians and leaving bodies strewn across the ground.

Islamic State's Amaq news agency said: “The perpetrators of the Barcelona attack are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states” - a reference to a U.S.-led coalition against the Sunni militant group. The claim could not immediately be verified.

If the involvement of Islamist militants is confirmed, it would be the latest in a string of attacks in the past 13 months in which they have used vehicles to bring carnage to the streets of European cities. That modus operandi - crude, deadly and very hard to prevent - has killed well over 100 people in Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm.

It was the deadliest attack in Spain since March 2004, when Islamist militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,800.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Twitter he was en route to Barcelona. “Maximum coordination to arrest the attackers, reinforce security and attend to all those affected,” he said.

The Spanish royal household said on Twitter: “They are murderers, nothing more than criminals who are not going to terrorize us. All of Spain is Barcelona. Las Ramblas will go back to being everyone’s.”

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

The incident took place at the height of the tourist season in Barcelona, which is one of Europe's top travel destinations with at least 11 million visitors a year.

French President Emmanuel Macron, whose nation has suffered some of Europe's deadliest militant attacks in recent years, tweeted: “All my thoughts and France's solidarity to the victims of the tragic attack in Barcelona.”

A Vatican spokesman said Pope Francis was praying for the victims and wanted to express his closeness to all Spanish people, especially the victims and their families.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • pgerman

    I'm wondering why MP ignores the terrorist attacks and actions of some mapuches organizations in argentine territory. Rio Negro, Neuquen and, today, Córdoba were some of the places where these terrorist attacked argentine citizens....

    Aug 18th, 2017 - 01:57 pm 0
  • Voice

    pgerman

    Simple....Attacks by the Islamic State are internationally newsworthy...

    Aug 18th, 2017 - 02:37 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    Hmm, events in Argentina shouldn't need to be internationally newsworthy to be reported, but on the other hand no one died and it seems like a pretty minor protest. I was wondering why Mercopress hadn't reported the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado.

    Aug 18th, 2017 - 03:21 pm 0
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