NEWS

Barcelona And Cambrils Terror Attacks: What We Know For Sure

Here are the verified facts.

18/08/2017 12:34 | Updated 19 August 2017

UPDATE: The man suspected of driving the van has been named as 22-year-old Moroccan national, Younes Abouyaaqoub,  who is thought to be on the run. 

Two attacks have taken place in Spain’s Catalonia region, leaving 14 people dead and injuring 130.

Here’s what we know so far:

What happened in the Barcelona attack?

Shortly before 4.50pm local time on Thursday a van drove into crowds in Barcelona’s busy Las Ramblas, killing at least 13 people and leaving more than 100 people injured.

The driver of the vehicle is said to have zig-zagged at high speed through the popular pedestrianised area, sending some people hurtling through the air.

JOSEP LAGO via Getty Images
Policemen check the identity of people standing with their hands up after a van ploughed into the crowd at Las Ramblas.
LLUIS GENE via Getty Images
People leave a cordoned off area in Las Ramblas.

Many people were knocked to the ground and witnesses described being locked into churches and shops for their own safety after people attempted to run away. 

The driver of the vehicle managed to flee the scene. A manhunt is still underway.

Police confirmed that the key suspect - who may have been the van driver- was among five terrorists killed in the later Cambrils attack.

Spanish police have described the incident as a terror attack.

Who is responsible?

Although police have confirmed the incident was a terror attack, they have not established the driver’s motive.

The self-described Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack via its Amaq news agency. However, it is unclear to what extent, if any, the group’s leadership was directly involved. 

The second attack:

About eight hours after the Barcelona attack, an Audi A3 car was driven into pedestrians in the seaside resort town of Cambrils, about 70 miles south-west of Barcelona.

The vehicle overturned when it crashed into a crowd of people.

One woman died and several others, including a police officer, were wounded in the attack, which took place at about 1.30am.

Police shot dead five men involved in the attack who were wearing explosive belts, which were later determined to be fake.

According to Reuters, a series of controlled explosions were then carried out by police. 

In a statement on social media this afternoon, police announced that the suspects’ car contained knives and an axe, with one victim receiving facial wounds before the five men were shot dead. 

The Barcelona and Cambrils attacks are believed to be linked.

LLUIS GENE via Getty Images
Policemen check a car involved in a terrorist attack in Cambrils, a city 120 kilometres south of Barcelona.

The other incidents:

Police have said an explosion at a house in the Catalonian village of Alcanar, which killed one person on Wednesday night and injured at least one more, was related to the Barcelona attack.

They said they believed this explosion denied the terrorists material they were planning to use for a larger attack they were going to stage.

However, a man who drove into officers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Barcelona later on Thursday and was then shot dead, was not linked to the terror attack, police said.

Who were the victims?

A statement by the Catalan government said that victims of the Las Ramblas attack came from 34 different countries, including France, Germany, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Bruno Gulotta, a 35-year-old Italian father-of-two was confirmed as having lost his life in Facebook post from his employers, Tom’s Hardware. 

The company wrote: “Rest in peace Bruno, we will remember you forever.” 

toms hardware
Bruno Gulotta was confirmed being among the deceased.

Luca Russo has been identified as a second Italian victim by the country’s foreign ministry. 

The 25-year-old, who was from Bassano Grappa, was on holiday with his girlfriend Marta Scomazzon, La Repubblica reported, adding she had been badly hurt in the attack

Elke Vanbockrijck, aged 44, from Belgium was confirmed as dead by Town Mayor Patrick Dewael. In a tweet the mayor said the woman was from Tongeren, 90km east of Brussels. He said he had presided over her wedding in 2014. 

Granada grandfather Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, 60, was confirmed as having lost his life by Spanish daily El Pais

A “small number” of Britons were injured in the terror attacks in Spain and additional staff have been sent to Barcelona to help, the Foreign Office said on Friday. 

Theresa May said on Friday that UK authorities are “urgently looking into reports” of a British dual-nationality child believed to be missing in Spain following the terror attacks.

Seven-year-old Julian Cadman with dual British and Australian nationality remains unaccounted for after he was separated from his mother Jom, who was seriously injured and is being treated in hospital. 

The US State Department says at least one American was killed and one injured in the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. The department did not identify either of the American casualties. 

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said on Friday that he thought 13 German citizens were among those injured, some of whom very seriously. Martin Schaefer could neither confirm nor rule out whether any Germans were among the deceased.

Who are the suspects?

Police said that of the four men they were looking for, only one was unaccounted for.

Moussa Oukabir is believed to have driven the van in the Las Ramblas attack. He was killed by police in the Cambrils attack.

The other three suspects, besides Oukabir, are Mohamed Hychami, 24, Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, and Said Aallaa, 18.

Abouyaaqoub remains unaccounted for, police said, adding that Hycham and Aallaa were also dead.

Police are searching for these four suspects.

What we still don’t know:

Self-proclaimed Islamic State has said it is behind the Las Ramblas attack, but so far no details or evidence have been provided to support the claim.

“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,” the group’s Amaq news agency said.

According to reports published in Spanish newspaper, El Periodico, the CIA warned local police in Barcelona two months ago that Las Ramblas could be the target of a terrorist attack. 

“The CIA warned the Mossos [local police] two months ago that Barcelona, and in particular the Rambla, could be the scene of a terrorist attack like the one that occurred this afternoon,” the report said.

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS