On what was a scorching Thursday afternoon in Barcelona, a ‘major terrorist incident’ struck the Central European city – one of many to hit the continent in the past year alone.
As the attack remains ongoing, most of the facts are unknown however what we do know is that a white van ‘ploughed’ into civilians in the highly popular Las Ramblas area of the city at around 5pm local time.
The van, a white Mercedes, reportedly travelled for over 100 meters along the pavement, and it has now been confirmed that 13 people were killed in the initial attack and 50 were injured.
Sadly, Catalan Police have stated they expect the number of fatalities to rise.
Local media have reported that at least one of the suspected terrorists has been arrested and another has been shot dead after a shootout with police.
Just minutes after the initial attack, it was reported that another incident had occurred when two armed men locked themselves in a city centre restaurant – however it is now believed that this was inaccurate.
— Victoria Trenton (@VictoriaTrenton) August 17, 2017
— Ewelina Kawczynska (@ewelinanews) August 17, 2017
— The Spain Report (@thespainreport) August 17, 2017
Interestingly, over 40 miles away from Barcelona a second van has been found and is being investigated by police. It is thought that this van was rented out at the same time as the one used in the attack.
The identity of the suspects who carried out the attack remain unconfirmed and it has not yet been reported that any particular group is responsible.
As you can probably imagine there is a huge police presence in the city – including members of the bomb disposal team. Train and Metro stations nearby have also been shut down.
Barcelona FC have also tweeted about the attack:
Deeply saddened by the attack on our city. All our thoughts are with the victims, their families and with the people of Barcelona.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 17, 2017
Police are expected to make a statement in the near future.
More to follow
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.