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Iran Press TV

Van plows into crowd in Spain's Barcelona, killing many

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:57PM

A van has crashed into dozens of people in the center of the Spanish city of Barcelona, killing at least a dozen people and injuring many others.

The city police described the incident on Twitter as a "massive crash," in a statement released on Thursday, saying, "Huge collision on Las Ramblas in Barcelona by an individual driving a van, many injuries."

Conflicting reports have been so far released on casualties following the attack.

Cadena Ser radio, citing police sources, said at least 13 people had been killed in the attack, which has been called a terrorist attack by police in Barcelona.

Other media including El Pais said there were at least 10 dead. A police spokeswoman could not immediately confirm the number of casualties.

Catalan police, however, says at least one person has been confirmed dead and 32 people injured following the attack, adding that 10 of those injured are in serious condition.

Hours after the attack, a Catalan government official said on Twitter that there were 13 dead and at least 50 injured in the attack.

No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility for Barcelona attack.

The Spanish police noted that they were clearing the area after the incident, which has left a number of people injured.

The area around the incident was cordoned off, with several ambulances and police vehicles on the scene, an AFP correspondent said.

Barcelona's emergency services asked people not go to the area around the city's Placa Catalunya, requesting the closure of nearby train and metro stations.

A report by El Pais newspaper stated that the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot after mowing down dozens of people.

A report by El Periodico newspaper indicated that two armed men had entrenched themselves at a bar in Barcelona's city center after the van incident, noting that it was not immediately clear if the men were the drivers of the van.

A Spanish police source initially noted that a person suspected of driving the van into pedestrians was holed up at a bar.

The unnamed source said, "One of the attackers is holed up in a bar," adding that police were looking for a total of two suspects.

Catalan police, however, later announced that there was nobody holed up in the bar, adding that they had arrested one man linked to Barcelona van attack.

"We arrested a man and we are treating this as a terrorist attack," police in the Spanish region of Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, tweeted, AFP reported.

Following the incident Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was in contact with authorities, adding on Twitter that the priority was to attend to the injured.

Police in Barcelona have announced that they are dealing with a "terrorist attack," adding that they are searching for driver of the van.

Later reports indicated that a second van linked to Thursday attack in Barcelona had been found in the small town of Vic in Catalonia. The city council said that police had cordoned off the area and were inspecting the vehicle.

Various European cities have already seen terrorist attacks on pedestrians mostly carried out by Daesh operatives using various kinds of vehicles as weapon.

On July 14, 2016, a 31-year-old Tunisian identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel plowed a 19-tonne truck into a Bastille Day crowd in southern French city of Nice, killing 86 people. The attack was later claimed by Daesh, which said Bouhlel was one of its followers.

On June 19, 2017, a 31-year-old Adam Dzaziri, who had sworn allegiance to Daesh, was fatally shot by the police when he rammed a car loaded with guns and a gas canister into a police van on Paris' Champs-Elysees.

On August 9, 2017, a 36-year-old Algerian man, named Hamou B., drove a BMW into soldiers outside a barracks in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, injuring six. The attacker was then chased by police, who shot and wounded him.

On March 22, 2017, a 52-year-old British national identified as Khalid Masood mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge near parliament before stabbing a policeman, killing five people and injuring around 50. He was then shot dead by police. The attack was also claimed by Daesh.

On June 3, London was once more shocked when three attackers stroke pedestrians with a van before going on a stabbing spree in the London Bridge area.

Eight people were killed before the assailants are shot dead by police and the attack was claimed by Daesh.



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