Barcelona terror attack: Police confirm the key suspect is dead

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A policeman in Cambrils, where five terror suspects were shot dead after an attack overnight.
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Getty Images

Police in Spain confirm the attacker who drove a van down a crowded tourist street in Barcelona on Thursday, killing at least 13 people, has been shot and killed.

Moussa Oukabir, 18, was shot in the Spanish seaside city of Cambrils on Thursday evening, according to police.

A 14th civilian died in the separate attack in Cambrils later on Thursday, during which a number of aggressors drove a car into pedestrians.

Widespread reports suggest that children are among 125 people who on Friday were confirmed injured in the Barcelona atrocity. One of the dead is American, and a British boy is among the missing.

Four people have been arrested in connection with the attack. Police have said they believe it is the work of a coordinated terror cell, who have been planning the attack “for some time.”

Spanish media on Friday morning identified the attacker, whose brother Driss was arrested Thursday.

It is unclear whether he is 17 or 18 years old. Outlets published a picture of him:

The Spanish news agency EFE, the ABC newspaper, and the RTVE TV station all separately cited police sources claiming that Oukabir was the attacker. Reuters is reporting the same. There are reports in Spain saying that he has been killed, but police say the search is ongoing.

Police have conducted raids on the Oukabir family home, where the brothers lived. AP images show untidy rooms with scattered belongings. One shows what appears to be Moussa’s name on a mail box.

Security forces are looking for three other suspects, according to an internal police document seen by El País and La Vanguardia. They are 18-year-old Said Aalla, 20-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, and 24-year-old Mohamed Hychami. All three are Moroccan natives.

Police kill 5 suspects at 2nd attack

The police in Cambrils, a city near Barcelona, earlier shot dead five people they said had run into another crowd hours after the attack on Las Ramblas. Police confirmed on Friday that one of the men shot was Oukabir.

An Audi A3 smashed into pedestrians in Cambrils, a city some 60 miles south west of Barcelona, injuring a police officer and six civilians. One civilian later died, taking the total death toll to 14.

Officers killed the men inside. They have said the two attacks are linked.

Las Ramblas Barcelona attack wreckage

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Wreckage and debris on Las Ramblas on the night of the attack.
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Reuters

The men were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts, though the police have since said the devices were fake.

The BBC published footage of the Cambrils shooting sent to them by a witness named Fitzroy Davies. It shows the police talking to a man, with the sound of gunshots as he approaches them (the footage is frozen before he is shot):

‘Pop pop… and he felldown.’

Eyewitness Fitzroy Davies describes the moment police shoot asuspected terrorist in Cambrils #Barcelonapic.twitter.com/5kWzoJanl0

#Barcelonapic.twitter.com/5kWzoJanl0August18, 2017

Barcelona Cambrils map terror attacks

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Google Maps/Business Insider

Witnesses to the initial attack in Barcelona described how the van zigzagged down Las Ramblas, a long, tree-lined boulevard that is one of Barcelona’s central tourist spots, at about 5 p.m. local time.

It travelled several hundred metres, running down pedestrians and cyclists as it went, before coming to a halt over a decorative mosaic near the city’s Liceu subway station.

Arrests; ISIS claims responsibility

Two men were arrested Thursday evening, three in Ripoll and another in Alcanar, two towns in the Catalonia region of Spain, of which Barcelona is the capital.

At a press conference on Friday, the chief of the Catalan police said that three of the arrested men are Moroccan and that one is Spanish. They are aged 21, 27, 28, and 34. None of them had a history of terrorist activity, he said.

Officers believe that the two attacks are related to an explosion at a house in Alcanar the previous day. Reuters cited police sources who said the house was being used as a lab to make weapons with explosive gas.

Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has characterised the attackers as jihadists. At a news conference on Thursday evening, Rajoy said the attack was an act of “jihadist terrorism” and that defeating it must be the world’s No. 1 priority.

The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency, though the group, also known as ISIS, has not offered proof to support its involvement. A statement said, “The perpetrators of the Barcelona attack are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states.”

Spain is part of the international coalition against ISIS. It has helped train soldiers in Iraq but, unlike the UK and the US, has not directly taken military action in Syria or Iraq.

Victims and mourning

The death toll Thursday night was 13, but emergency services on Friday announced that a badly injured woman had died, increasing the count to 14.

One of the dead is an American, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed. An Italian man, a Belgian woman and several Spaniards have also been confirmed dead. Business Insider is maintaining a full list of victims here.

126 people were injured, according to an announcement by the Catalan emergency services. Of these, 17 are critically injured, 28 seriously injured, 8 moderately seriously and 12 have light injuries:

An earlier post said victims came from at least 34 countries, which are listed in full here.

The British Foreign Office said a small number of Britons were injured. Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, said 28 French nationals were injured, according to the BBC. Eight of them were seriously injured, of whom four were children.

The British government said Friday it was urgently investigating reports that a British boy has not been seen since the attack. Reports in Britain have suggested the boy is 7-year-old Julian Cadman, a British-Australian dual national. He has been pictured in a uniform from Chiddingstone Nursery, which is in Kent.

Bruno Gulotta, 35, an Italian father of two, was the first victim to be named. A 44-year-old woman from Belgium and a 60-year-old man from Granada were also identified.

On social media, images showing a looped black ribbon are gaining traction as a symbol of mourning.

Las Ramblas was reopened Friday morning, though some of the metro stations along the route remain closed. A minute’s silence was held at midday at the Plaça Catalunya square at the top of Las Ramblas, subject to heavy security.

Felipe VI, the king of Spain, attended alongside Rajoy. After the silence, the crowd applauded:

ðx´ En #DIRECTO desdeLas Ramblas de Barcelona, un minuto de silencio por las víctimasdel atentado https://t.co/ziW9vyWeAO pic.twitter.com/GRur8j1Axz

#DIRECTOhttps://t.co/ziW9vyWeAOpic.twitter.com/GRur8j1AxzAugust 18,2017

Officials said the death toll may rise.

The attack on Barcelona is the deadliest attack in Spain since a series of train bombings in the capital Madrid in 2004 killed 191 people.

Las Ramblas crash map Barcelona

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Bing Maps/Business Insider

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