Thursday 22 February 2018

Barcelona attack: 18-year-old identified as suspected van driver

  • Spanish police kill suspects in second attack after 13 die in Barcelona
  • 13 killed in Las Ramblas attack and more than 100 injured
  • Five terror suspects dead after ramming attack in Cambrils - one woman has since died
  • Family of four from the Philippines with Irish citizenship among those 'injured'
  • Police arrest fourth person in relation to attacks on Friday afternoon
Moussa Oukabir is believed to be the younger brother of Driss Oukabir, who was arrested in Ripoll, north of Barcelona.
Moussa Oukabir is believed to be the younger brother of Driss Oukabir, who was arrested in Ripoll, north of Barcelona.
Moroccan Driss Oukabir, bottom left, whose ID card may may have been taken by his brother and, elsehwere, scenes on Las Ramblas in Barcelona Credit: AFP
Members of the NYPD Counterterrorism Unit stand guard in Time Square as security is increased as a result of a attack in Barcelona, Spain earlier on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, at in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Noble Jr.)
A handout picture downloaded on August 17, 2017 on Moroccan Driss Oukabir's Facebook account shows himself posing past a dog. Oukabir is an alleged suspect linked to the attack of Barcelona on August 17, 2017 when a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 13 persons and injuring over 80 on the Rambla in Barcelona. A driver deliberately rammed a van into a crowd on Barcelona's most popular street on August 17, 2017 killing at least 13 people before fleeing to a nearby bar, police said. Officers in Spain's second-largest city said the ramming on Las Ramblas was a "terrorist attack". / AFP PHOTO / FACEBOOK / HO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/ FACEBOOK" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS HO/AFP/Getty Images
People flee from the scene after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district of Barcelona, Spain, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. According to witnesses the white van swerved from side to side as it plowed into tourists and residents. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
An injured person is carried in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. (AP Photo/Oriol Duran)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

FIVE terrorists wearing fake suicide belts rammed civilians with a car in a Spanish seaside town before being shot dead by police in a second attack to hit the country.

Seven people including a police officer were injured during the incident in Cambrils, hours after a rampaging van driver left 13 people dead and over 100 wounded in Barcelona.

A woman who was critically injured in the attack in Cambrils has died bringing the total number of dead from the two attacks to 14, Catalonian authorities said

Bystanders ran for their lives as a gunfire broke out close to the coastal town's beachfront promenade early on Friday morning.

Forensic policemen arrive in the cordoned off area after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 13 persons and injuring over 80 on the Rambla in Barcelona. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Forensic policemen arrive in the cordoned off area after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 13 persons and injuring over 80 on the Rambla in Barcelona. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The van that ploughed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others is towed away from the Rambla in Barcelona. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The van that ploughed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others is towed away from the Rambla in Barcelona. Photo:AFP/Getty Images
The van who ploughed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others is seen momnets before being towed away from the Rambla in Barcelona. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The van who ploughed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others is towed away from the Rambla in Barcelona. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Policemen check the area after towing away the van which ploughed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others on the Rambla in Barcelona. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Tourists wait for the police to allow them to come back to their hotel on the Rambla boulevard after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others is towed away from the Rambla in Barcelona. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Screengrab taken with permission from video posted on twitter by @pawilerma of the scene in Las Ramblas, Barcelona after several people have been injured after a van crashed on a pavement in a popular tourist area of the Spanish city. Pawi Lerma/PA Wire
Police and emergency services attend to injured persons at the scene after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017, in this still image from a video obtained from social media. Courtesy of @Vil_Music/via REUTERS
Injured people are treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. (AP Photo/Oriol Duran)
Injured people are treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. (AP Photo/Oriol Duran)
An injured person is carried in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. (AP Photo/Oriol Duran)
An injured person is carried in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. (AP Photo/Oriol Duran)
A still image from video shows a police officer gesturing while walking across a road, after a van crashed into people in the centre of Barcelona, Spain, August 17, 2017. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
People flee the scene in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. (AP Photo/Oriol Duran)
People move from the scene after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017, in this still image from a video obtained from social media. Courtesy of McKenzie Tavoda/via REUTERS
A still image from video shows a police officer ushering people away on a street, after a van crashed into people in the centre of Barcelona, Spain, August 17, 2017. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
People run away after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017, in this still image from a video obtained from social media. Courtesy of INSTAGRAM / @c.artisan/via REUTERS
A still image from video shows a police cordon on a street in Barcelona, Spain following a van crash August 17, 2017. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
People run away after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017, in this still image from a video obtained from social media. Courtesy of INSTAGRAM / @pavel_lisovtsov/via REUTERS
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @Vil_Music of the scene in Las Ramblas, Barcelona after several people have been injured after a van crashed on a pavement in a popular tourist area of the Spanish city. Vil_Music/PA Wire
Police officers tell members of the public to leave the scene in a street in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Police in the northern Spanish city of Barcelona say a white van has jumped the sidewalk in the city's historic Las Ramblas district, injuring several people. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Armed police officers patrol an empty street, after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017, in this still image from a video obtained from social media. Courtesy of INSTAGRAM / @pavel_lisovtsov/via REUTERS
A police officer cordon off a street in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Police in the northern Spanish city of Barcelona say a white van has jumped the sidewalk in the city's historic Las Ramblas district, injuring several people. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Armed police officers patrol an empty street, after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017, in this still image from a video obtained from social media. Courtesy of INSTAGRAM / @pavel_lisovtsov/via REUTERS
Police officers tell members of the public to leave the scene in a street in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Mossos d'Esquadra officers (Catalan Regional Police) stand guard in front of Civil Guard headquarters during a protest in Barcelona, Spain July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo
People walk by Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain August 16, 2015. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo
Screengrab taken with permission from video posted on twitter by @pawilerma of the scene in Las Ramblas, Barcelona after several people have been injured after a van crashed on a pavement in a popular tourist area of the Spanish city. Pawi Lerma/PA Wire

Residents of the popular tourist spot were ordered to take cover indoors as bullets tore through the air and footage later showed several lifeless bodies on the ground.

In the wake of the carnage several controlled blasts were carried out in the area, with police later saying the attackers had been wearing explosive belts.

Mossos, Catalonia's police force, said four of the attackers were shot dead at the scene and later confirmed a fifth had died of his injuries.

Of the six civilians caught up in the attack two were said to be in a serious condition.

Reports in Spain suggested detectives were investigating a possible cell of eight people thought to have been involved in planning the attacks.

Two suspects, a Spanish national from Melilla and a Moroccan, were taken into custody in the wake of the attack. A third was arrested later.

Police confirmed that they arrested a fourth person over the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on Friday afternoon.

The Spanish broadcaster RTVE has published an image of the 18-year-old Las Ramblas suspect Moussa Oukabir.

It is understood that Moussa Oukabir is the younger brother of Driss Oukabir, who was arrested in Ripoll, north of Barcelona.

He is reported to have told police that his identity documents were stolen before they were used to rent the van.

The Department of Foriegn Affairs said that a family of four, who are Filipinos but who are naturalised Irish citizens living in Ireland, are among the injured in Barcelona. Their injuries are understood to be serious but not life-threatening.

Norman and Pederlita Putot - who were born in the Philippines but are naturalised Irish citizens and their children Nathaniel and Pearl, who were born in Ireland - are understood to have been on holiday in Barcelona when they were caught up in the terror attack on Thursday.

Mr Putot and Nathaniel (5) are still in hospital but their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

It is not yet known if other Irish are among the victims.

Meanwhile, UK authorities are "urgently looking into reports" of a British dual-nationality child believed to be missing in Spain following the terror attacks, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Seven people, including a police officer, were injured in the incident in Cambrils.

Bystanders ran for their lives as gunfire broke out close to the coastal town's beachfront promenade, while residents of the popular tourist spot were ordered to take cover indoors as bullets tore through the air.

Fitzroy Davies, from Wolverhampton, was caught up in the second attack and described how police shot dead one of the attackers.

He told the BBC he was in Spain for a judo camp and was in a meeting with the coaches when the incident unfolded.

"This guy came running up the road and was shouting something," he said.

"I didn't know what it was, so we said call the police.

"Within 30 seconds the police was already there, jumped out of the car, started shouting at the guy; the guy was then saying something else again.

"And then they - 'pop, pop' - did a couple of shots and he fell down.

"He stood back up and then he stepped over the fence and he started, he was taunting, smiling and he carried on walking to the police, and then they gave it to him again, a couple more shots and then he fell to the ground."

Several controlled blasts were carried out in the area in the wake of the attacks.

Here's what we know so far:

* The first attack began shortly after 5pm local time (4pm BST), when a white Fiat van sped through Las Ramblas, a busy street in Barcelona.

* At least 1d people were killed and more than 100 injured as the driver ploughed into people along a 500m stretch of the pedestrianised area.

* The driver then fled, leaving a scene of widespread panic, with crowds running in waves away from the area.

* Citizens of 34 countries were among those killed and injured in Barcelona, including 35-year-old Italian holidaymaker Bruno Gulotta, who was the first to be named, and one Belgian national confirmed to have died.

* The Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland is aware of one Irish family who were caught up in the event, but their injuries are not life-threatening

* The French foreign ministry said 26 French nationals were injured, including 11 seriously.

* Police made two arrests in connection with the incident, including Driss Oukabir, a 28-year-old Moroccan who was initially believed to have rented the van.

* But the driver is believed to be still on the run, and may be his younger brother.

* Eight hours later terrorists struck again, this time in Cambrils, a coastal town and resort 68 miles (109km) down the coast from Barcelona.

* In the second attack, a gang of five men wearing suicide belts rammed civilians with a car before being shot dead by police.

* Seven people including a police officer were injured in Cambrils.

* A woman who was critically injured in the second attack later became the 14th fatality of the Spanish atrocity.

* Four of the attackers were shot dead at the scene and a fifth died later of his injuries.

* Of the six civilians caught up in the Cambrils attack, two were said to be in a serious condition.

* Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack, the deadliest in Spain since more than 190 people died in the 2004 Madrid train bombs.

Investigators said they are working on the theory that the attacks in Cambrils and Barcelona, as well as an explosion in the town of Alancar on Wednesday, are linked.

A major manhunt for the suspected driver of the van that mowed down holidaymakers and locals in Barcelona, around 68 miles east of Cambrils, was continuing on Friday.

So far two people have been arrested over the attack that saw the Catalonia capital become the latest European city to fall victim to a major terrorist outrage.

Shortly after 5pm local time on Thursday a white Fiat van tore through Las Ramblas, a major tourist attraction packed with families and holidaymakers, in a horror described as "jihad terrorism" by the country's prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

The van drove on to the pavement, swerving among pedestrians in a crowded area, and was "clearly a terror attack intended to kill as many people as possible", senior police official Josep Lluis Trapero said.

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest on Spanish soil since more than 190 people died in the Madrid train bombs in 2004.

According to the Catalan regional government citizens of some 24 countries were among those killed and injured, with one Belgian national confirmed to have died.

Authorities have warned that the death-toll may rise, with 15 people receiving treatment for serious injuries.

There were also reports that detectives believe two vans were used, one for the attack and a second as a getaway vehicle.

Hours after Thursday's attack, police shot and killed a man who was in a car that hit two officers at a traffic blockade on the outskirts of Barcelona. However, Mr Trapero said it was not linked to the van attack.

Witnesses to the attack described how the van hurtled through crowds without slowing down, sending scores of people scattering and many taking shelter in nearby shops.

Islamic State's Amaq news agency said the attackers had 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. Spain has several hundred soldiers in Iraq training local forces in the fight against Islamic State.

There was no immediate indication though that Islamic State had directed or organised the attack, although some of those responsible for similar attacks in Europe have been inspired by the jihadist group.

Islamist militants have staged a string of attacks across Europe in the past 13 months, killing well over 100 people in Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm.

The Barcelona attack was the deadliest 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 announced three days of official mourning for what he called a "jihadist attack" while the Spanish royal household said on Twitter: "They are murderers, nothing more than criminals who are not going to terrorise us. All of Spain is Barcelona."

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!"

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