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Thursday, August 17, 2017


Armed cops draw their weapons as they rush to Las Ramblas

Armed cops draw their weapons as they rush to Las Ramblas

DEPRAVED terrorists have killed at least 13 people and injured 80 in Barcelona using a rented van which they ploughed through a busy shopping district mowing down terrified tourists.

Cops have confirmed that two men have been arrested while another suspect has reportedly been shot and killed during a gun fight with brave officers in Sant Just Desvern – a small town just outside of the Catalan capital

Cops clad in black and carrying machine guns were seen entering the Boqueria open-air market backed up by regular police armed with pistols.

Footage has emerged of terrified people being evacuated as police locked down and surrounded the area.

One of the vans involved in the deadly attack was reportedly rented by a man named as Driss Oukabir. According to local media, Oukabir is a Spanish national of North African descent.

Despite cops naming and picturing Oukabir, there have been reports that he has handed himself into a police station in Ripoll, in northern Catalonia.

The man purporting to be Oukabir has reportedly claimed that his documentation had been stolen and insisted he had no part in the deadly attack.

Catalan cops have said officers shot and killed a man who was in a car that hit two officers at a traffic blockade.

Local media reports say a white Ford Focus ran over the officers and then was intercepted by police 1.9 miles from where the terror attack happened in the city’s Las Ramblas district.

Authorities did not indicate if the shooting was related to the van attack.

1. A white Fiat rental van careered into crowds in the iconic Las Ramblas district of Barcelona as tourists and shoppers thronged the streets at around 4 pm

2. The driver, described as 5ft 5in tall and wearing a blue and white striped top, was seen fleeing from the smashed van

3. Authorities confirmed 13 people are dead and 80 are injured. 

4. Armed cops stormed the popular La Boqueria amid initial reports – which have now proved to be incorrect – of a hostage situation in a Turkish restaurant.

5. Police have arrested two men and found a second rented van in the town of Vic 70km away that they believe is connected to the attack

Carlos Mauri, who claims to have witnessed the shooting of the suspect in Sant Just Desvern, told La Vanguardia that he heard screaming and shouting before bullets were fired.

He said: “I suddenly heard screams. I thought it was a fight and I went to the balcony.

“There was a lot of police and they were shouting at the man in the car ‘put up your hands, put up your hands’.

Carlos said he heard one or two shots and then the man was dead.

The “massive crash” involved a white van mounting the pavement, police said as they confirmed they are treating it as a terror attack.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said he is in contact with all authorities.
The driver of the rented Fiat van, registration 7082 JWD, ran away from on foot after the smash.

Investigators also found a SECOND van 70km away in the town of Vic that they believe is connected with the attack.

Cops have ordered shops and cafes in the area to shut and are searching for a man between 5ft 5in and 5ft 6in dressed in blue and white striped clothes.

The crash van entered a pedestrian area at the junction of Las Ramblas and Placa Catalunya.

Reports say it ploughed into people outside a Kosher food shop, although this is yet to be confirmed.

The end of Las Ramblas close to Barcelona's beach has reportedly been turned into a makeshift "field hospital" while the city's blood banks are said to be "full" from donations.

Marc Esparcia, a 20-year-old student who lives in Barcelona, told the BBC: "There was a loud noise and everybody ran for cover.

"There were a lot of people, lots of families [at the site], this is one of the most visited sites in Barcelona.

"I think several people were hit. It was horrible, there was panic. Terrible."

He said he was now taking cover inside a Starbucks coffee shop.

Barcelona FC wrote in a statement: "Our hearts are made smaller by this attack. Sending strength and love to the victims, their families and the citizens of Barcelona".

A local festival planned for tonight has been cancelled in response to the slaughter.

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."

Eyewitness Amar Anwar, the human rights lawyer, told Sky News: "I did not see the van mount the pavement. I heard the crash.

"People started screaming and everybody ran in the opposite direction.

"The shopkeeper we spoke to said a van had mounted the pavement and driven into a crowd and at least five or six people, he thought, were very seriously injured."

Ada Colau, the President of Catalonia, the autonomous Spanish state where Barcelona is the capital, has cancelled her holiday and is returning to the city.

The White House says President Donald Trump has been alerted to the unfolding situation in Barcelona.

Chief of staff John Kelly is aware of the developments and is keeping the president informed.

The British Foreign Office guidance for Spain reads: "Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Spain."Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.

"Spanish police have disrupted a number of groups suspected of recruiting individuals to travel to Syria and Iraq from 2015 to the present date.

"Some of them expressed an intention to carry out attacks in Europe.

"There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria."

Source: The Sun- By Neal Baker, Guy Burchall, Gemma Mullin, Sam Webb and Mark Hodge

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