Barcelona terror attack suspect allegedly gunned down

2017-08-21 17:47
Spanish policemen stand guard in a cordoned off area after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 13 persons and injuring over 50 on the Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017. (File, AFP)

Spanish policemen stand guard in a cordoned off area after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 13 persons and injuring over 50 on the Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017. (File, AFP)

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Cape Town - Spanish police say they have killed a person who appeared to be wearing an explosives belt in the Subirats area, West of Barcelona on Monday.

According to Mail Online, the man is believed to be Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan national suspected in the Barcelona terrorist attack which left 15 people dead.

The man is said to have shouted ‘Allahu Akbar [God is the greatest]’, as police shot and arrested him on Monday afternoon.

KVOA also reported that authorities now say they have evidence that Abouyaaqoub drove the van that ploughed down the city's famous Las Ramblas promenade, killing 15 pedestrians and injuring more than 120 others.

On Monday afternoon, Catalan police said that they were conducting an operation in the same area, a town 45km west of Barcelona when they caught up with the 22-year-old. 

Abouyaaqoub was suspected of driving the van that ploughed down the Las Ramblas promenade. 

In a separate incident, at least one person has died in Marseille, France, after a car crashed into people waiting at two different bus stops in the southern French port on Monday, police sources told AFP, adding that the suspected driver had been arrested afterward.

Another person was left seriously injured.

The police sources, who asked not to be identified, did not say whether the incident was being treated as a terror attack or an accident.

Major attractions targeted

According to AFP, Islamic extremists have made a point of targeting Europe's major tourist attractions - especially in rented or hijacked vehicles.

But in the last two years, the extremist group has steadily lost ground in its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

On Sunday, King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other officials attended a solemn Mass at Barcelona's Sagrada Familia basilica for the victims of the attacks.

The archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Joan Josep Omella, said the presence of so many people was a "beautiful mosaic" of unity and urged all to work toward a common objective of "peace, respect, fraternal coexistence and love". The 14 people killed spanned generations — from age 3 to 80 — and left behind devastated loved ones.

Vancouver police said on Sunday that 53-year-old Canadian Ian Moore Wilson was among those killed in Barcelona and his wife Valerie was wounded.

Fiona Wilson, his daughter, described her father as an adventurous traveller and thanked those who helped him and her mother in his final moments.

"In the midst of this tragedy, my dad would want those around him to focus on the extraordinary acts of human kindness that our family has experienced over the past several days, and that is exactly what we intend to do," she said.

Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, a 57-year-old Spaniard, was killed with his 3-year-old grand-nephew, Javier Martinez, while walking along the Las Ramblas promenade.

His widow Roser is recovering in a hospital. "We are a broken family," niece Raquel Baron Lopez posted on Twitter. Other victims included a grandmother, 74, and her granddaughter, 20, from Portugal who were visiting Barcelona to celebrate a birthday; an Italian father who saved his children's lives but lost his own; an American man who was celebrating his first wedding anniversary.

By late on Saturday, the Catalan emergency service said 53 attack victims were still hospitalized, 13 of them in critical condition. 

Read more on:    barcelona

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