BREAKING NEWS – Terror Attack In Barcelona Leaves 13 Dead As Van Crashes Into Crowds

By NewsRoom24 on August 17th, 2017 / Views
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At least 13 people have been killed and 80 hospitalised after a white Fiat van ploughed into crowds of people in Barcelona’s busy city centre.

Barcelona Police confirmed that the shocking incident in Las Ramblas, a busy tree-lined promenade in the centre of the city, was a terror attack.

Catalan Police arrested one man earlier today in connection with the incident, and two other suspects were killed in a shootout with officers.

One of the suspects was named by police as Driss Oukabir. It is not known if he was one of the suspects either arrested or killed.

It is also not currently known how many attackers were involved.

Horrific footage shot from overhead showed terrified pedestrians screaming as they ran away from the scene, while others taken in the aftermath show at least 19 people lying on the floor covered in blood.

Catalan emergency services said people should not go to the area around Plaça Catalunya, and should stay away from the centre of Barcelona.

They added that metro and train stations in the surrounding area are closed, while officers shut down stores on the street.

Barcelona is incredibly busy at this time of year, and is a popular destination for British tourists. Facebook has now enabled its safety check feature.

Steve Garrett was in a nearby market and sheltered in a bakery with several others after streams of people ran inside.

One member of the group, who took refuge with him, said she had heard gunshots after the incident.

Mr Garrett told the BBC: ‘A very large number of people ran into the market area in a big kind of way, lots of screaming, lots of shouting.

‘The security guards immediately responded. We ran into the bakery with four or five other people and ran straight upstairs and hunkered down whilst an enormous wave of people went through the market.

‘Obviously coming from England it was reminding me a great deal of what happened in London, so we were very concerned about what might be going on next.

‘The lady that was with us said she heard some gunshots.’

Mr Garrett said a “second wave” of people then entered the market, followed by armed police.

He said: ‘They seemed to sweep through the market area. They seemed to be looking for someone. They were going very carefully, very cautiously, stall to stall.’

Aamer Anwar was walking down Las Ramblas at the time, which he said was ‘jam-packed’ with tourists.

He told Sky News: ‘All of a sudden, I just sort of heard a crashing noise and the whole street just started to run, screaming. I saw a woman right next to me screaming for her kids.

‘Police were very, very quickly there, police officers with guns, batons, everywhere. Then the whole street started getting pushed back.’

Mr Anwar described the scene as ‘chaos’, with everyone in ‘panic mode’.

He added: ‘Police officers who got there just started screaming at people to move back, move back.

‘One of the shopkeepers tried to speak to him. He said he saw five or six people seriously injured on the ground, a van had driven into people.

‘And literally within probably 30 seconds, police vans, ambulances, police officers with guns, were piling out and we were being sectioned off and then being pushed rapidly back down Ramblas.’

Will Ako, 26, from London, was eating in a restaurant called Taller De Tapas with his family when they heard a disturbance.

He told the Press Association: ‘We had just finished eating and were about to leave when we heard a commotion and the patrons in the restaurant rushing from their seats.

‘I then saw people running to the east of the restaurant and I saw a couple of people about 30 yards down the road crouching around what looked like someone on the ground and they were calling for assistance.

‘Within a couple of minutes, police started to arrive and they were running west of the restaurant and some were telling us to stay inside.

‘Soon after, loads of cars, bikes and ambulances arrived and then the armed police.’

He said he was in the restaurant with around 40 people, adding: ‘We’re not sure what’s happening.’

Another Barcelona eyewitness told LBC: ‘I saw white van driving at 80-100kmph as it drove into groups of people.’

Brendon Sissing is in Las Ramblas and said he saw ‘people screaming and people being knocked down by this van’.

‘It knocked a whole bunch of people and just kept on going,’ he said.

Tom Gueller, who lives on an adjoining road, was forced to flee the scene when he saw the van hurtling through the crowds.

He told BBC’s PM: ‘I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that.

‘I ran away, I mean I live near, I had to run back about 50 metres or so and go up to my flat and obviously see what’s happening on the road from my balcony.’

Asked about the van, he said: ‘It wasn’t slowing down at all. It was just going straight through the middle of the crowds in the middle of the Ramblas.’

Mr Gueller said many of the shops had pulled their shutters down and armed police were positioned on street corners, with cordons in place on the road.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: ‘My thoughts are with the victims of this barbaric terrorist attack in the great city of Barcelona and with their brave emergency services.’

Mr Khan added: ‘London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism.’

Theresa May said in a statement that the UK ‘stands with Spain against terror’ and condemned the ‘terrible’ assault that follows a spate of similar attacks in London in recent months.

She added: ‘My thoughts are with the victims of today’s terrible attack in Barcelona and the emergency services responding to this ongoing incident.’

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

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