A van had run over a crowd in La Rambla. The Police linked the attack with the explosion yesterday of a house in Alcanar
The Islamic State (ISIS, its acronym in English) hit the heart of Barcelona yesterday and left at least 13 dead and over 100 injured in the most serious attack suffered by Spain since 11 March and the first jihadist since 2004. At 1650 hours, a van was launched against hundreds of people who were on La Rambla. The police confirmed that this is a coordinated attack. The perpetrator of mass rampage is fled and still missing. The Catalan police have arrested two people. One is Driss Oukabir, who allegedly rented the vehicle. The other, whose identity is unknown, was arrested in Alcanar (Tarragona), where the Autonomous suspected that, along with others, was preparing an explosive device.
(Video courtesy by elpais.com)
The late ISIS took responsibility for the attack through one of its agencies. Terrorists spread terror and chaos, that cretaed all afternoon in the city center. The main streets of Barcelona were evacuated while police searched for the perpetrators.
Ten minutes before five in the afternoon, a white Fiat van burst into the center lane of the tourist spot Rambla de Barcelona. At that time, the ride was filled with pedestrians, many of them tourists. The vehicle rolled over one hundred citizens at “a significant rate,” explained Josep Lluís Trapero, the head of the Mossos d’Esquadra, The attackers toured a stretch of about 500 meters with a motive similar to the attacks in Berlin, Nice and Stockholm. The absence of bollards in the crosswalk provided that the van could climb to the central walkway Barcelona boulevard.
The van finally stopped height Liceu theater. The driver left the vehicle and fled. The Police seek him since. “We have no evidence that that person was armed by what witnesses tell us,” said Trapero before the avalanche of contradictory information circulated throughout the afternoon.
The attack left dozens of dead bodies on La Rambla and caused scenes of panic. “We were walking toward it when we have seen a white van began to run over people. We have seen cyclists jumping into the air, people jumping in the air … It was horrible” Vercamm Ellen, a Belgian tourist who was a direct witness of the accident.
The latest report, according to the Government, was 13 dead and over 100 wounded. The injured were scattered in hospitals in the city. The authorities asked citizens to stay at home, but many decided to go out to try to help those affected or donate blood. In fact, hospitals had to report that already had enough plasma to treat the wounded. The Minister of Interior, Joaquim Forn, last night did not rule out that the number of casualties may increase. Neither the deceased, since many of them were hospitalized severe.
Uncertainty and panic gripped the city center. Hundreds of people were confined, until late at night, in establishments of La Rambla. The security cordon, to facilitate assistance to victims and tracking authors, was expanded. Two hours after the collision, the Catalan police confirmed that this was a terrorism attack.
The second arrested for their links with the attacks was arrested in Alcanar (Tarragona). This is a man born in Melilla and whose identity was confirmed yesterday. It is linked, presumably with an explosion Wednesday night in a building of the town. One person was killed and seven others were wounded by an accumulation of gas. The building eventually demolished completely. Trapero revealed yesterday that the Mossos “clearly connected” attack Barcelona with the incident Alcanar. Catalan police, in fact, working with the hypothesis that terrorists might be preparing an explosive device there.
The Police not initially found no link Event Alcanar terrorism, and linked to drug trafficking, said Trapero. Inside the house, which was occupied for the past few months, a dozen bottles of butane and propane gas were found.
Trapero rule that is linked to the attack a strange incident occurred yesterday also in Barcelona. A driver hit the police skipped on Diagonal Avenue and ran over to a sergeant, who suffered a broken femur. His companion “repulsed the attack” and shot the driver, of Spanish nationality who died. The police sent to Tedax to inspect the vehicle.
The confusion generated in the area for hours the rumor that a terrorist had barricaded himself in a nearby bar to the scene. The information was officially denied by the Police. It is true that, in order to guard against some establishments in La Rambla and near their shutters down with people inside.
The Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, spoke by telephone with the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and leaders of opposition parties after the collision. A crisis cabinet, composed of the regional authorities, the government delegation, the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Civil Guard and the National Police, meets in Barcelona to study the situation. The US State Department issued a warning urging US citizens to avoid the area. Rajoy and the vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, traveled to Barcelona last night.Late, the president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, gave a message of unity against terrorism. Accompanied by Vice President Oriol Junqueras, and the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, Puigdemont condemned the incident and thanked the cooperation of the security forces.
— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) 17 de agosto de 2017
La Rambla was cordoned off, in addition to the main adjacent streets. Commercial establishments and restaurants were closed and public transport metro, buses, Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat and RENFE also paralyzed. Renfe stations from Plaza Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia were evacuated and closed to the public following the accident. In other areas, people and workers were locked up for more than three hours until security forces allowed their output. In the area of the accident there were numerous bodies strewn across the floor, many still. The Central Court of Instruction No. 4 National Court, Fernando Andreu of, has already opened proceedings. a second suspect vehicle near a burger Vic (Barcelona) was also found.
In few minutes we are going to make several controlled explosions in #Cambrils. If you hear detonations DO NOT be alarmed, are controlled!
— Mossos (@mossos) 18 de agosto de 2017
(The article originally published in elpais.com)