BREAKING: Terror Strikes Spain — At Least 13 Killed After Van Plows Into Barcelona Crowd; Armed Men Take Hostages

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(Anti Media) Summary of the latest:

  • A terror attack took place in Barcelona when a van plowed into a crowd in Las Ramblas, killing at least 13 and injuring over 20.
  • hostage situation is underway in a nearby restaurant, where two armed individuals have taken hostages.
  • This would be the deadliest terrorist attack in Spain since 2004 bombing, when Islamist militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,800.

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Update 5: Attack witness Lourdes Porcar has told Spain’s TV3 television station that she saw the van running people over. “It was going very fast, without caring about who was in its way.”  

Additionally, Police have set up roadblocks around the city amid reports that a second van was involved in the attack and fled the scene.

As reported earlier, there are also reports that at least on attacker is holed up in a Turkish restaurant on Carrer Hospital, which leads off from the spot in which the van appears to have come to a halt. Television pictures show that a van came to a halt on top of a Joan Miro mosaic, half-way down Las Ramblas – meaning that it would have covered more than 500 metres, mowing dow anyone in its path.

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Update 4: According to a leading terrorism analyst, there is “growing confidence” the Islamic State may be behind the Barcelona attack as message to Spain popping up on key IS-linked Telegram channels.

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Update 3: According to El Mundo the number of dead increased to 13. Additionally, as the Telegraph adds, Police stationed at the cordon a block away from Plaza Catalunya, on Passeig de Gracia, say they have no information what is happening inside. Confused tourists, shoppers and business owners gathered at its edges, awaiting some word or direction as to what to do.  

The Catalan police say they are treating the crash as a suspected terrorist attack but cannot yet confirm the motive.  According to media reports, the attack vehicle was a rented van.  That would suggest, if this is confirmed as a terrorist attack, that terrorists are imitating the perpetrators of the London Bridge attack, where a rented van was also used.

 

Sky News reports that police are now looking for a second van that may have been involved in the attack.

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Update 2: According to local radio, cited by Reuters, the number of dead increased to 13.

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Update 1: According to Reuters, two armed men have entered a restaurant after the van crash and have taken hostages, while El Periodico tweets that there is an active shootout taking place the area in what the Barclona police now say is considered a “terrorist attack.”

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Reuters also adds that at least two have been killed in the van crash while El Mundo adds that more than 20 people have been injured. Pictures from the scene of the crash show emergency services and civilians attending to at least two people on the ground.

One twitter video post shows bodies strewn across the pavement for at least 100 metres of the famous street.

According to El Pais the perpetrator of the van attack is still on the run.

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A “massive crash” has taken place in Barcelona, where a white van has ploughed into a crowd of “dozens of people” in the city’s center, at the main Rambla de Catalunya promenade, Spain’s La Vanguardia newspaper reports.

Catalan emergency services said people should not go to the area around Placa Catalunya.

El Pais newspaper said the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot after mowing down dozens of people. While full details of the incident were not immediately clear, since July 2016 vehicles have been used to ram into crowds in a series of militant attacks across Europe, killing well over 100 people in Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm.

In recent weeks, threatening graffiti against tourists has appeared in Barcelona, which draws at least 11 million visitors a year.

From Reuters:

  • BARCELONA POLICE CONFIRM THAT A “MASSIVE CRASH” FROM A VAN HAS OCCURRED IN THE CITY CENTRE
  • BARCELONA POLICE SAY ON TWITTER THERE ARE SEVERAL INJURED FROM VAN CRASH IN CITY CENTRE
  • CATALAN EMERGENCY SERVICES SAY ON TWITTER THERE IS AN INCIDENT ON PLACA CATALUNYA, PEOPLE SHOULD AVOID GOING TO AREA

 

As Vanguardia adds citing several sources, the driver appears to have run over a dozen people. The local police reported that there are “several injured”, without giving further details. Local emergency services say that police forces have evacuated the area, while several ambulances are attending to the injured.

 


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