It has become the favourite way for terrorists both locally and internationally to carry out their attacks, driving through a crowd of unsuspecting people, killing, and injuring as many as possible. Spain became the latest country in Europe where the perpetrators used this medium. This brutal method has been utilized in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The United States had its first taste just last week in Charlottesville, Virginia.A man drove a white van through Las Ramblas, a street in the center of Barcelona that runs 1.2 kilometers.
It connects the old city to the new city filled with restaurants, bars, flower shops, and market stalls. The street itself does not allow traffic through due to the heavy pedestrian presence.
At least 13 people were killed with over 80 injured. The death toll is expected to increase depending on the injuries.
It actually wove back and forth as people were running and screaming. People dropped their belongings and picked up their children as they tried to run to and find a safe area.
Oukabir went to the police claiming his identification had been stolen. According to the Spanish media, Oukabir said he was not part of the attack.
Police are questioning the 28-year-old why he didn’t report having his ID stolen sooner. Authorities now believe, it is Oukabir’s brother who may have stolen his identification.
So far, police have arrested two suspects. One is a Spaniard and the other from Morocco, according to Catalan Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero.
Police swarmed the streets within minutes of the attack. As people sought refuge in restaurants, armed officers went from business to business looking for the suspects.
At 2:09 a.m. today, Spanish media reported that four perpetrators were shot dead by police in Cambrils. Authorities were able to foil an attempted van attack at pedestrians like the one in Barcelona. Cambrils is a coastal town in Catalonia.
Police initially believed it was a gas explosion. They now believe the explosion, the Cambrils attempt, and plowing in Las Ramblas are all connected.
The house was completely toppled from the explosion. Investigators found 20 canisters of propane and butane among the rubble.
Neighbors had to be evacuated from the area. Other homes were hit with shrapnel.
She live-tweeted what she was living through it. The 46-year-old sought refuge in a restaurant where she hid in a freezer.
On March 11, 2004, ten bombs placed in gym bags, backpacks, and other carriers exploded on four commuter trains in Madrid. 191 people were killed, with more than 1,800 injured.
The front of it can be seen crumpled. Photos reveal victims lying on the street, motionless, and bloodied.
A driver ran over two officers at the checkpoint. The officers suffered minor injuries. Authorities have not confirmed if this incident has any relation to the one in Las Ramblas.
Witnesses said the terror cop unit as well as cops dressed in civilian clothing arrived on the scene “within 30 seconds” after the attack.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy offered his condolences to the victims and their families. He was quick to call it a terrorist attack.
One witness estimated the van was driving around 80 kph or 50 mph. Ali Shirazinia was cycling along Las Ramblas at the time the van plowed through the busy street.
“The Ramblas is full of pedestrians, street merchants, street performers, and I saw people flying into the air and everyone was running into the shops on either side of the Ramblas, a lot of people were shocked,” Shirazinia said.
Officials in Barcelona closed the metro and train stations in the city. Public events have been canceled.
This is at the height of summer season. Spanish authorities revealed that the victims come from at least 34 different countries.
There are two Italians, an American, and a Spaniard, among those killed yesterday. No additional names have been released. A seven-year-old British boy is missing after he was separated from his mother.
In solidarity they chanted in Catalan, the local language along with Spanish, “The people together will not be beaten,” along with “We are not afraid.”
Nonetheless, since the beginning of the year, more than 20 arrests have been made of people suspected of belonging to the Islamic State militant group. Some see this as retaliation.
He fled the scene on foot. There is a massive manhunt for his capture.
The assailants planned to use explosive devices to cause bigger devastation and greater casualties. Nonetheless, the detonation of the materials in the house resulted in scaling down their original plan.
King Felipe of Spain and its head of state, led a moment of silence in the Plaça de Catalunya. This is near where the attack began.
They followed it with a chant in unison, “We are not afraid, we won’t forget!”