Tuesday 17 July 2018

Explainer: What we know so far about Barcelona terror attack

People stand on the street after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017. La Vanguardia/Pedro Madueno/via REUTERS
People stand on the street after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017. La Vanguardia/Pedro Madueno/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)
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)
A policeman stands next to an ambulance after a van ploughed into the crowd, injuring several persons on the Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Josep LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
The incident occurred in the Ramblas area of Barcelona (Photo: Google Maps)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

At least 14 people have been killed and more than 100 were injured in a terror attack in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon.

Emergency services attended the scene and the city centre of Barcelona went into lockdown.

"It was clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible," Josep Lluis Trapero, senior police official, said.

Here is what we know about the incident so far:

'Massive van crash'

A white Fiat van, reportedly rented, ploughed into pedestrians in the busy La Rambla area of Barcelona shortly after 5pm. Local media cited police sources and said at least 13 people have been killed, while at least 50 have been injured.

The vehicle veered onto the promenade and swerved back and forth as it hit pedestrians.

The driver of the van fled the scene and a massive police operation took place in the area. Police confirmed they arrested two people in connection to the attack.

La Vanguardia report that a second attacker has been killed in a shoot-out.

What are police saying?

Police say they are investigating a terror attack.

They are also saying they have "activated protocols" in the city but cannot confirm the motive behind the van attack.

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

POLICE Bar (3).jpg
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)

Were any Irish people injured in the attack?


AT least four Irish citizens are reportedly among the dozens injured in the attack in the terror attack in Barcelona.

The family - who are of Filipino descent but are naturalised Irish citizens who are living in Ireland - are said to have sustained serious injuries in Thursday's attack, but those injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said that there may be further Irish casualties.

Where are the victims from?

The Irish are among people from at least 24 countries who were killed or injured in the attacks.

French authorities confirmed that 26 of their citizens were injured and 11 of these are in a serious condition.

Three Germans and one Belgian person were among those killed.

It's also been confirmed that three Dutch people, an American person and a citizen of Hong Kong were all injured in the incident.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that two women are in a serious but stable condition, while two other men sustained minor injuries.

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

Ms Bishop said that one Australian person is still missing.

Three Greek nationals - a mother and her two children - are said to have been hurt.

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.

What are locals and tourists being told?

Catalan emergency services said people should not go to the area around Placa Catalunya. Police are also asking people to let their families know if they are 'okay' if they are in the designated 'red zone'. They have asked people to use social media networks so as not to block the phone lines.

What happened in Cambrils?

There was further terror when five people wearing suicide vests carried out a second ramming attack in the seaside resort of Cambrils in the early hours of this morning.

Terrorists ploughed an Audi A3 into pedestrians, injuring at least six people, before they were shot dead by security forces and their bomb belts were detonated by experts.

What are Department of Foreign Affairs saying?

The Department said that they are monitoring developments "closely" through the Irish Embassy in Madrid and Ireland’s Honorary Consul in Barcelona.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said that there may be further Irish casualties.

Their statement reads: "Irish citizens in the vicinity of the incident are advised to follow the advice of local authorities. Anyone with concerns for the safety of loved ones in Barcelona can contact the Consular Assistance team in the Department on 01-4082000 or the Irish Embassy in Madrid on +34 914364093.

mao.jpg
The incident occurred in the Ramblas area of Barcelona (Photo: Google Maps)

What are the government officials saying?

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was in contact with authorities after a van mowed down dozens of people in Barcleona's city centre.

Rajoy said on Twitter the priority was to attend to the injured.

In the US, White House's chief of staff said it was keeping President Trump closely informed about the situation.

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, has expressed his abhorrence at the terrorist attack in Barcelona, saying:

"On behalf of the Government and the Irish people, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Prime Minister Rajoy and the people of Barcelona and Spain following this callous act.

"An attack of this nature, targeting the people of Barcelona and visitors enjoying that wonderful city in the height of the tourist season, is both wanton and cowardly and has no place in our society. At this time of immense grief, I want to offer our solidarity and support to the people of Spain, with whom we have such close relations."

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said he was "appalled" by the attack.

"I am appalled by the incident in Barcelona this afternoon," Minister Coveney said.

"On behalf of the Irish government, I wish to convey our condolences and solidarity with the people of Spain at this time."

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono condemned the Barcelona attack and expressed solidarity with Spain.

US President Donald Trump tweeted: "The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!"

British Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts are with the victims of the "terrible attack" in Barcelona, adding: "The UK stands with Spain against terror."

In Germany, the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they were thinking of the victims of the "revolting attack" with "profound sadness", while French President Emmanuel Macron voiced "France's solidarity" with Spanish citizens following what he called "a tragic attack".

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the world to unite in an "uncompromising battle against the forces of terror".

"We decisively condemn this cruel and cynical crime against civilians," Putin wrote in a telegram of condolences to Spanish King Felipe VI.

Do we know who is behind the attack?

Police have launched a full investigation into Thursday's violence. However, Isis did claim responsibility for the attack through the group's news agency.

"The executors of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the Islamic State," Amaq said on its Telegram messenger account, without naming those it claimed were behind the attack.

The suspects

The driver of the van that mowed into the packed street was still on the run, Spanish police said on Thursday night.

Josep Lluis Trapero of the regional police of Catalonia said two other people suspected of being involved in the terror attack had been arrested - a Spaniard and a Moroccan.

One of the suspects arrested over the attack is a man born in the Spanish territory of Melilla in northern Morocco, he said.

The other, Driss Oukabir, is Moroccan.

Neither of them had any criminal record, he added.

Spanish reports initially said that Driss Oukabir was being questioned on suspicion of involvement in the attack.

But on Thursday night the mayor of Ripoll, the town where he lived, 70 miles north of Barcelona, said that a man identifying himself as Driss Oukabir went to his local police station and reported that his documentation had been stolen.

Jordi Munell, the mayor, said that the man had insisted that he had been in Ripoll at the time of the attack and went to the local police station as soon as he saw his images broadcast in the media.

Police suspect that Driss Oukabir’s younger brother, named by Spanish media as 18-year-old Moussa, could have been involved.

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

Anything else?

Meanwhile, people in Barcelona have begun to open up their homes to those affected by the incident.

One man wrote on Twitter; "Anyone in #Barcelona stuck in the centre you welcome at my apartment behind Plaça Jaume. Cups of tea offered! #lasramblas #larambla"

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