Barcelona Attack: Five terrorists with fake bomb belts killed

0
Have your say

Five terrorists wearing fake suicide belts were killed by Spanish police as they thwarted a second atrocity, hours after the Barcelona van attack left at least 13 people dead.

Britons in the Catalan capital described running for their lives after a suspected Islamist terrorist drove a van into crowds through the central tourist hot spot of Las Ramblas.

In the seaside town of Cambrils, some 70 miles (113km) away on the Mediterranean coast, a car then ploughed into pedestrians in the early hours of Friday.

In a chilling echo of the London Bridge attack in June, Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont said the five terrorists in the vehicle were wearing fake suicide belts when they were stopped, and linked them to the earlier Barcelona attack.

Read more: ‘5 terrorists killed’ as Catalan police stop attack

Three people are in custody after the Barcelona attack but a manhunt is also under way for Moussa Oukabir, 18, El Pais said. The newspaper reported he is the teenage brother of Driss Oukabir, one of the men already detained.

An armed police officer stands on a street in Las Ramblas, as the search continues for Moussa Oukabir.

An armed police officer stands on a street in Las Ramblas, as the search continues for Moussa Oukabir.

Seven people, including a police officer, were injured in the incident in Cambrils and several controlled blasts were carried out in the area in the wake of the attacks.

READ MORE: Barcelona attack: Search for missing boy, 7, with UK links

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, said it was like watching a “horror film” as panic engulfed the busy street.

All of a sudden, there was this screaming and hordes of people, like a tidal wave of people, fear etched in their faces, running towards us

Susan MacLean

READ MORE: Barcelona attack: Nicola Sturgeon expresses support for victims

Mr Davies, who was in town for a judo camp, described seeing a crazed attacker behaving “like somebody who was on drugs”, before being shot.

He told Sky News: “He then fell down and then within two seconds he stood back up.

“He then stepped over the fence, charged the police again and the police then gave some more shots and then he fell down again.”

Plain-clothes policemen phone as they walk past police cars in a cordoned off area. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Plain-clothes policemen phone as they walk past police cars in a cordoned off area. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Barcelona, a hugely popular tourist destination, came to a halt at noon on Friday (11am BST) as a minute’s silence was observed in the Placa Catalunya, close to the scene of the attack.

Led by King Filipe and Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy the silence was then followed by applause for the victims.

READ MORE: Glasgow University rector Aamer Anwar caught in Barcelona attack

Three days of mourning have been declared by the Government of Catalonia.

More than 100 people were injured in the Barcelona massacre, the deadliest attack in Spain since the 2004 Madrid train bombs in which more than 190 people were killed.

There were also reports that investigators believe the terror cell may have been planning an attack using gas canisters.

Barcelona terror atack map.

Barcelona terror atack map.

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.

It has not been confirmed if the Barcelona van driver, who fled the carnage, is among them.

Mr Puigdemont told local radio there was at least one “terrorist still out there”, but that “we don’t have information regarding the capacity to do more harm”.

It was not clear whether the terrorist he referred to was the van driver.

An Irish family of four was among those was caught up in the Barcelona attack, the country’s government said.

The father and his son were injured but they are understood to be in a non life-threatening condition.

Witnesses to the attack said the van hurtled through crowds in Las Ramblas without slowing down, sending scores of people scattering, with many taking shelter in nearby shops.

On Thursday, lawyer and University of Glasgow rector Aamer Anwar described the horror of the scene with people “screaming and running and jumping into shops”.

But on Friday he returned to the bustling street, telling the Press Association that “life seems to be going back very quickly to normality”.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “sickened” by the incident, while the Foreign Office said it was still trying to determine if there were British victims.

Armed policemen arrive in a cordoned off area after a van ploughed into the crowd. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Armed policemen arrive in a cordoned off area after a van ploughed into the crowd. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

A policemen and a medical staff member stand past police cars and an ambulance in a cordoned off area after a van ploughed into the crowd. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

A policemen and a medical staff member stand past police cars and an ambulance in a cordoned off area after a van ploughed into the crowd. Picture: AFP/Getty Images