17 Aug 2017
Spanish police have confirmed a rented truck has struck a crowd on a popular tourist street in central Barcelona in what they are calling a “coordinated terrorist attack”, with authorities confirming 13 dead and over 100 injured.
Update, 17:39 PM EST: According to El Mundo, the police briefing noted that, of the 100 injured, 15 are in critical condition. The newspaper notes that three of the victims are now known to be German citizens.
The man driving the car is not among the two arrested or the third killed and is suspected to be on the loose. Police say witnesses did not see him visibly armed and did not hear any Islamic proclamations from the car as it ran people over. Jihadists often shout “allahu akbar” – “allah is the greatest” – and Islamic State sympathizers, in particular, are known to pledge allegiance to “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during terrorist attacks.
Police did not address any reports involving the names of those arrested.
Update, 17:07 PM EST: Police have confirmed that two suspects are in custody: one, a Moroccan citizen, and the other a Spanish citizen from Melilla. Melilla is a Spanish territory on the African continent surrounded by Moroccan land.
Barcelona terror attack: Horror as ‘two dead’ after van ploughs into pedestrians and hostages taken at restaurant
A van ploughed into pedestrians along a famous promenade – sparking a manhunt for the driver – and hostages have been taken at a Turkish restaurant.
Photos posted online show victims being helped by police officers and witnesses at Placa de Catalunya in the city centre after the van struck people on a pavement.
Video shows a stampede as terrified witnesses flee through the streets after the vehicle slammed into people on tree-lined La Rambla, which is highly popular with tourists.
Local media reported that the driver of the white van fled on foot and is being hunted by police.
Locals officials have requested that metro and train stations shut while rescuers deal with the emergency, and they urged people to stay away from the crash site.
More below the fold.
Spain: Police say Barcelona truck crash is “terrorist attack”
Last June, the Islamic State published a poster depicting an SUV driving over a heap of skulls and bearing the legend “Run Over Them Without Mercy.”
And the Islamic State issued this call in September 2014:
So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be….If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him….