Spain names Barcelona attack suspect, expands manhunt

Authorities identify driver in Barcelona van attack as 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub as manhunt spreads across Europe.

    Police believe Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old man, mowed down crowds in Barcelona [Mossos D'Esquadra/AFP]
    Police believe Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old man, mowed down crowds in Barcelona [Mossos D'Esquadra/AFP]

    Spanish police say they have identified the driver of a van attack that killed 13 people in Barcelona as they expanded an international manhunt for the suspect.

    Authorities are looking for Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old they believe was behind the wheel of a van which left a trail of dead and injured on Barcelona's famed boulevard.

    European police forces were now searching for Abouyaaqoub, the Catalan region government said on Monday.

    They did not rule out that the suspect had slipped across the border into France.

    "This person is no longer just being sought in Catalonia, but in all European countries, this is an effort by European police," Joaquim Forn, home affairs chief in the northeastern Spanish region, told Catalan radio.

    READ MORE: Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: What, where and when?

    Forn confirmed that police were almost certain Abouyaaqoub was the driver.

    Abouyaaqoub allegedly abandoned the van after zig-zagging down Las Ramblas avenue at high speed, police have said.

    Witnesses claimed to have seen a man walking away unarmed from the scene.

    Authorities have stepped up checks at Spain's borders.

    The other suspects in a cell of 12 people thought to be behind the attack have been arrested, shot by police or killed in an explosion at a house in Catalonia a day before Thursday's van attack.

    The attack in Barcelona was linked to another outburst of violence hours later in the resort down of Cambrils, further down the Mediterranean coastline from Barcelona.

    A car crashed into passers-by there, and attackers reportedly got out to tried and stab people. Five suspects were shot dead, while a Spanish woman died in the attack.

    Why does Europe continue to be a 'terrorist' target?

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.