A van on Thursday mowed through crowds of tourists on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district, killing at least thirteen people, Reuters reported. The van had swerved off the sidewalk into an area near the Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist district of the city usually crowded with foreigners who frequent the bars and shops on the stretch of this historical market area.
“We can confirm there are 13 dead and more than 50 injured,” regional interior minister Joaquim Forn said on Twitter. Police confirmed the arrest of two men behind the incident, news agency AP said. One of the suspects was named by the police union as Driss Oukabir.
The attack was later claimed by Islamic State. Carles Puigdemont, the head of the Spanish region of Catalonia said that at least 80 people had been taken to hospital. According to a US monitor, the jihadist organisation’s propaganda outlet Amaq said, “The executors of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the Islamic State.”
US President Donald Trump condemned the attack. He took to twitter and said that he will take necessary actions. He tweeted, “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help.”
France’s President Emmanuel Macron called it a “tragic attack”. British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter that London “stands with Spain against terror”.
News agency AFP quoted an eye witness saying, “There were bodies on the ground with people crowding round them. People were crying. There were lots of foreigners.” Another eye witness told Britain’s Sky News television, “All of a sudden, I just sort of heard a crashing noise and the whole street just started to run, screaming. I saw a woman right next to me screaming for her kids.”
Earlier, the Islamic State also claimed the Nice attack and also the 2015 Paris attack on the night club. Not only this, IS also claimed another deadly vehicle attack in December in which 12 people were killed when a man driving a truck ploughed into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market.
With inputs from agencies