UPDATE: Barcelona Police Link Two More Incidents to Vehicle Attack
Dozens are injured after a van plowed into crowds in Barcelona.
[UPDATE: August 18, 2017 10:45 A.M.]
The driver in Barcelona’s vehicle crash, which left at least 13 dead and more than 100 injured, is believed to still be at large after police confirm that two suspects who were arrested were not driving the van. The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Moussa Oukabir.
ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack.
Yesterday’s attack in the busy tourist promenade of Las Ramblas – Spain’s deadliest terror attack since the 2004 Madrid bombings – is now being linked to two more incidents in the Spanish region of Catalonia.
Early Friday morning, just hours after the vehicle attack, five armed attackers drove through a crowd of people in the town of Cambrils, 75 miles southwest of Barcelona. One person was killed and six others were injured, including one police officer.
Police engaged in a shootout with the attackers, who wore fake suicide belts, and killed all five.
Wednesday, just after 11 p.m., a house exploded in Alancar, a town about 100 miles southwest of Barcelona, leaving one dead and seven people injured. Authorities have not confirmed the cause of the explosion, but said they are treating the recent events as a trio of linked incidents.
Four people have been arrested in relation to the attacks – one in Alcanar and three in Ripoll. However, authorities said it is still unclear how many people were involved and how many suspects are still on the run.
Police in Barcelona continue to be on high alert as the department faces staffing issues in the midst of this new terror cell. They believe the three incidents were related and that the suspects had been preparing for even bigger attacks in Barcelona for a while.
[UPDATE: August 17, 2017 2:30 P.M.]
At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 more were injured after a van hopped the curb and drove through crowds in the heart of Barcelona on Thursday. Police are calling the incident a terror attack.
Joaquim Forn, an Interior Counselor in Caralonia, the area of the attack, tweeted his "strongest condemnation of the terrorist attack in Barcelona." He also confirmed the death toll and the amount of people injured.
The Barcelona police were able to confirm at least ten of the 50 injuries were critical in nature.
According to local news and the police, the driver fled on foot after the crash. Many news stations were reporting that two suspects had held up a bar in the area and taken hostages, but police denied that was the case.
Just hours after the crash, police were able to arrest a suspect. They have not released information about the suspect other than it is a person associated with the incident. We do not know if the person arrested is the driver of the van.
Police will continue to hunt for more suspects in the incident and have activated its "terror response protocols."
Original story is posted below.
Police have reported a vehicle crash in the Las Rambles area of Barcelona. The van jumped the curb and plowed into a crowd of people in the popular outside shopping attraction.
The police have called the crash a terrorist attack as there have been reports that the driver and a second perpetrator fled the van after the crash.
A popular Spanish newspaper has reported that the two men are armed and hold up in a restaurant nearby. Several mainstream news stations have described the incident as a hostage situation.
Police have reported that there are “dozens of injuries” but have not given the condition of those injured or a specific number.
The Metro and railways in the area have been closed and those at the scene have been told to “stay where they are” until further instruction.
This is an ongoing story. It will be updated as new information is available.