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Terror in Barcelona: At least 13 die when van plows through crowd


Joseph Lago | AFP

John Burger - published on 08/17/17

Spain sees attack similar to those in other parts of Europe

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, that left at least 13 people dead and about 80 injured on Thursday.

A van plowed through a crowd in the popular Las Ramblas tourist area in the center of the city. Witnesses said the driver of the van wove back and forth, apparently trying to hit as many people as he could.

Police have a suspect in custody. Spanish media are reporting another suspect died in a shootout. El Mundo newspaper said the shootout happened in Sant Just Lesvern, on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Soon after the attack, Islamic State-friendly websites were reporting on it and showing video of the carnage. A channel on the Telegram messaging service, “Expansion of the Caliphate,” posted a message in Arabic saying, “Terror is filling the hearts of the Crusader in the Land of Andalusia,” the New York Times reported.

Islamist militants have staged several attacks in Europe recently involving vehicles plowing into crowds, but not in Spain, until now. Spain has been a transit point for recruits of the Islamic State group, both for those going to Syria and those returning, the Times noted. The Spanish police arrested nine people in April who they said may have been connected with deadly attacks in France and Spain.

President Trump condemned the attack and pledged support to Spanish authorities.

“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!” he tweeted.

Islamist Militants
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