Terror in Barcelona

At least 13 dead people and about one hundred wounded was the preliminary balance in the capital city of Catalonia after being struck by a terrorist attack

By: Juventud Rebelde

Email: digital@juventudrebelde.cu

2017-08-18 | 11:45:02 EST

BARCELONA.- A terrorist attack in which the perpetrator used a vehicle as a weapon to knock down innocent passers-by left at least 13 dead people and about one hundred wounded, 15 out of them in a serious condition, in the worst attack suffered by Spain since the tragedy on March 11, 2004 in which the death toll stood at 192 people due to the bombing of four trains in Madrid.

Such was the evening balance by the Interior Department about the attack perpetrated with a van in Las Ramblas, the heart of the city,shortly before six o’clock in the afternoon.

According to El País, the Catalonian police, known asLos Mossos d’Esquadra,confirmed the action as a coordinated terrorist attack and arrested a 28 year-old Moroccan citizen named Driss Oukabir, born in Aghbala and legal resident in Spain. Other sources reported about another man held in custody, whose name is yet unknown.

According to La Vanguardia, TV3 and El País, one of the perpetrators, who ran away from a checkpoint knocking down two agents, was reportedly shot dead by the police when trying to escape in a white Ford Focus.

At around 6 pm, Barcelona was sunk in chaos as thousands of people ran after a van hit dozens of people along 500 meters, from the Catalonian square to the Liceu.

President of the Government Mariano Rajoy contacted by phone President of the Generalitat of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont and the leaders of the main opposition parties.

A crisis cabinet, made up by the regional authorities, the Government Delegation, theMossos d’Esquadra Police corps and the Civil Guard gathered in the city to assess the situation. Accompanying the President were Vicepresident of the Government Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and Minister of Interior Ignacio Zoido, El País reported.

“The terrorists will never defeat a united people who loves freedom before barbarism”, Rajoy posted on the social media. “The entire Spain is with the victims and their relatives”, he added before asking for “Unity”. Messages of solidarity came from many countries and Governments.

Despite being on terrorist alert since 2015 and the similar events suffered by neighbouring European nations, Spain had not been targetted for terrorist attack since the coordinated bombing in the train of Madrid, on March 11, 2004, which left 192 dead people and more than 2 000 wounded. After that tragedy, the European Union established March 11 as the European Day for the Victims of Terrorism.

In the latest year, Europe has suffered eight attacks with vehicles, a method which is difficult to anticipate by authorities, which needs little planification and often causes many victims, hence its frequent use by terrorists recently.

Spanish website Europa Press recalled, that in addition to Barcelona, the French cities of Nice and Paris, Sweden’s Stockholm, Germany’s Berlin and United Kingdom’s London (three times) have suffered attacks of this kind since July 14, 2016 to date.

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