Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: What, where and when?

At least 14 people have been killed and dozens wounded after two vehicle attacks in Spain.

Separate attacks have taken place in Spain’s Catalonia region. Here is what is known so far. 

What happened and when? 

  • On Thursday at 4:50 pm local time (14:50 GMT), a white van ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians. 

  • Witnesses said the vehicle zigzagged at high speed down Las Ramblas, ramming pedestrians and cyclists. The van knocked many to the ground and sent others fleeing for cover in shops and cafes. 

  • Witnesses described scenes of chaos and panic with bodies strewn along the boulevard.

  • Eight hours later in Cambrils, a black Audi A3 sedan hit more pedestrians.

  • Five attackers, some of whom appeared to be wearing suicide belts, were shot dead by police. Authorities later confirmed the explosive belts were fake.

  • Both the Las Ramblas and Cambrils attacks are believed to be linked.

  • The attack in Barcelona is the deadliest attack in Spain since March 2004, when bombs were placed on commuter trains in Madrid, killing hundreds.

Where did it happen?

  • The first attack took place in Las Ramblas, a famous boulevard in central Barcelona, a 1.2km stretch of shops and restaurants usually heaving with tourists.

  •  The second attack took place in the popular seaside resort town of Cambrils, 110km south-west of Barcelona.

Who was behind it?

  • The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the first attack through its Amaq website. 

  • Amaq said ISIL had launched the attack in response to calls to target states taking part in the United States-led coalition battling the group in Iraq and Syria.

  • Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old, was identified as the driver in the deadly van attack. 

  • A judicial source said investigators believed a cell of at least eight people, possibly 12, may have been involved in the attacks.

How many casualties?

  • Regional Interior Minister Joaquim Forn said at least 14 people had died in the first attack and more than 100 were injured.

  • There were at least 18 nationalities among the Barcelona victims who came from countries as varied as France, Venezuela, Australia, Ireland, Peru, Algeria and China, according to Spain’s civil protection agency.    

  • In the second attack, one person died in a hospital on Friday from wounds sustained, and five civilians were injured, one critically. A police officer was hurt too. 

House bombing 

  • On Wednesday night, an explosion destroyed a house in the town of Alcanar, 200km south of Barcelona, killing one person and wounding seven.

  • Residents of the house were preparing explosives using gas cylinders, a Catalan police source told Reuters news agency.

  • Police are working on the theory that the Cambrils and Barcelona attacks are connected along with the Alcanar blast. 

What is the latest?

  • Las Ramblas walkway has reopened to the public. The area remains under heavy police surveillance. 
  • Airports have made arrangements to receive relatives of the victims. 
  • Police shot Abouyaaqoub near Subirats, west of Barcelona, on August 21, after being alerted to the presence of a suspicious man.

  • The other suspects thought to be behind the attack have been arrested, shot by police or killed in the explosion. 

  • Following the confirmation of Abouyaaqoub’s death, Spanish police said that the operation into the Barcelona cell remained open, including at international level.
Source: Al Jazeera


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