Barcelona and Cambrils attackers planned bigger atrocity, say police – live updates

 

This article titled “Barcelona and Cambrils attackers planned bigger atrocity, say police – live updates” was written by Tim Wyatt (now) and Kevin Rawlinson, Matthew Weaver and Claire Phipps (earlier), for theguardian.com on Friday 18th August 2017 21.37 UTC

The British government has released more information on what steps it has been taking to protect pedestrians from vehicle attacks. A spokesman said that the Department for Transport was “working with the police and the vehicle rental industry to explore what more can be done to prevent the malicious use of hire vehicles”. Following the London Bridge attack in June – and the Westminster Bridge attack in March – large steel or concrete barriers were put up on all of London’s major bridges to stop cars from being able to mount the pavement. The spokesman also said:

We have also been working to improve protection in public spaces, including increased physical security measures at locations such as bridges and city centres, and will continue to explore every option.

At the same time, people should not be afraid to go about their daily lives. We ask that people remain alert but not alarmed and report anything suspicious to the police.

Some more of the victims of the Las Ramblas attack have been named.

  • Pepita Codina, 75, from the small town of Hipolit de Voldrega, near Barcelona. Her identity has not yet been formally confirmed, but the mayor of her hometown has said on social media that she was among those killed.
  • Ana Maria Suarez. She was the sole victim of the Cambrils attack in the early hours of Friday morning, according to the Spanish Royal Family’s Twitter account.
  • Jared Tucker, 42, from California. His death was confirmed by his father to the New York Daily News. He was visiting Barcelona with his wife to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

There are at least 34 nationalities represented among the victims of the attacks, the Catalan authorities have said; a picture of the enduring appeal of Barcelona and its most famous street – Las Ramblas – to tourists from all over the world.

Updated

Seven-year-old British-Australian boy missing

The seven-year-old Australian boy who is believed to be missing following the attack, named by his family as Julian Cadman, is also thought to be a dual British national. He was visiting Barcelona with his mother but became separated in the chaos on Las Ramblas and has not been seen since. Julian’s parents are travelling to Spain from Australia, and his grandfather has urged people to share an image of the boy on Facebook:

My grandson, Julian Alessandro Cadman is missing. Please like and share. We have found Jom (my daughter in law) and she is (in a) serious but stable condition in hospital.

Julian is seven years old and was out with Jom when they were separated, due to the recent terrorist activity. Please share if you have family or friends in Barcelona.

Earlier on Friday, Theresa May said that the British authorities were “urgently looking into reports” that a dual-national British child was missing. The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has also told reporters that one Australian citizen remains unaccounted for.

Updated

One more victim of the Las Ramblas attack has been named: Jared Tucker, from California. His father, Daniel Tucker, told the New York Daily News his son’s wife had identified his body in a Barcelona morgue. The couple were visiting the city to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. A second American citizen has been confirmed as a casualty, suffering minor injuries in the incident, the US State Department has said.

An official with Spain’s police union has backed up earlier reports that the teenager suspected of driving the van into crowds of pedestrians on Las Ramblas was shot dead by police during the shootout in Cambrils on Friday morning. Spanish media reported earlier on Friday that Moussa Oukabir, 18, was among the five men killed by officers after a second vehicle attack. Now, a union official has told AP colleagues in the Civil Guard police force confirmed to him Oukabir was killed in the Cambrils incident. Investigators believe Oukabir was behind the wheel of the van which ploughed into tourists in Barcelona’s city centre on Thursday, killing at least 13 and injuring 100.

Updated

Barcelona footballers will wear a tribute to the victims of the terror attacks on their shirts for their next match. The club have secured the approval of the Spanish football authorities to have the message #TotsSomBarcelona (We are all Barcelona) embroidered on their jerseys for their game against Real Betis on Sunday. The players will also wear black armbands. All 40 sides in Spain’s top two football divisions are set to also hold a minute’s silence before their matches kick off over the weekend.

The Spanish police are reportedly searching for a white Renault Kangoo van which was rented by the Barcelona suspects on Thursday. French security sources told the AP news agency that the four men being sought by the police may have crossed the border into France in the vehicle. France’s interior minister, Gérard Collomb, earlier said that surveillance on the usually open border between his country and Spain had been heightened following the terror attacks across Catalonia.

Updated

What we know so far

The death toll of the attacks in Spain stands at 14 people. Those named so far are: Bruno Gulotta, 35; Luca Russo, 25; Elke Vanbockrijck, 44; and Francisco López Rodríguez, 60. There were 130 people injured from at least 34 countries and 17 of them are in a critical condition.

Four people have been arrested, none of whom had previous links to terrorism, and Spanish police are searching for four more men. They have been unable to confirm reports that the driver of the van used in the Barcelona attack was killed in the later atrocity in Cambrils.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed that it was helping a “small number” of British citizens and the prime minister said a child with British nationality is among the missing.

Here is what we know about the related terrorist attacks that took place on Thursday and Friday:

Barcelona

  • A man drove a van into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, killing 13 people and injuring 100.
  • Spanish police are hunting four men, including Moussa Oukabir, the teenager who is suspected of being the driver of the van.
  • A minute’s silence was held in Barcelona’s main square, followed by several minutes of applause. Spain’s King Felipe and its prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, attended. A minute’s silence was also held at the EU buildings in Brussels.
  • A seven-year-old Australian boy, Julian Cadman, became separated from his mother, who is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
  • Authorities say the subsequent attack in Cambrils is linked to the terrorist assault on Barcelona.
  • Four suspects arrested on Thursday are being held on suspicion of links to the Barcelona attack, but police say none of them was the driver.
  • A second van that was believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle for the Barcelona attacker was found abandoned in Vic, 50 miles (80km) away.
  • Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack in Las Ramblas, but this could not be verified.

Cambrils

  • A second terrorist attack took place in Cambrils, a coastal town around 120km from Barcelona, in the early hours of Friday.
  • One person was killed and five bystanders and one police officer were injured – two seriously – when they were reported to have been deliberately hit by a car.
  • The attackers were wearing fake suicide vests, according to Catalan officials cited by El Pais.
  • Police officers shot dead five suspects, some of whom were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts. A single police officer was responsible for killing four of the attackers after his partner was injured.
  • The Audi A3 used in the Cambrils attack was removed by police. Its back window was smashed and it was upside down.
  • Javier Zaragoza, the head of the Audiencia Nacional, the court that deals with terror offences, said on Friday that those killed had no known links to jihadism.

Alcanar

  • Officials are also linking the two attacks to an earlier explosion that destroyed a house in Alcanar, killing one person and wounding at least one more. Police now say they believe explosives were being prepared at the property.
  • Alcanar is about 200km (124 miles) from Barcelona and 90km (56 miles) from Cambrils.
  • Investigators are picking through the remains of the building where the explosion took place.

You can read the full report here:

Updated

All that remains of the holiday house that used to sit on a bumpy track overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at Alcanar, 100 miles south of Barcelona, is a pile of colourful rubble.

Police now suspect this was the bomb-making factory where those who carried out the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on Thursday and Friday were trying to build a potent explosive device.

This appears to have exploded prematurely at the house late on Wednesday night, killing one person.

The explosion rained fist-sized chunks of masonry down on to the swimming pool and garden terrace of the Hostal Montecarlo 100 metres away, while bits of human flesh landed in neighbouring gardens.

“It rocked everything and smashed some of our windows too,” said Cristina Bolz, whose family owns the hostel.

One body has been recovered from the debris so far and a man who was taken to hospital with injuries has been arrested after police linked the explosion here to the attacks in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon and Cambrils in the early hours of Friday.

On Friday afternoon, police continued to search through the rubble, looking for more bodies and clues that might help them identify other members of the group.

They suspect that the men who met here wanted to fill a van with butane bottles and then blow it up.

An ambulance pulled up at the site late on Friday afternoon, but it was not clear whether it was there to take another body away or as a precaution because police were planning to carry out a series of controlled explosions.

The house, which had been repossessed by a bank years ago, was being squatted by a group of men who neighbours assumed were Moroccan and who came and went on powerful Kawasaki motorbikes.

Police thought this meant it had been a drugs factory of some kind and initially treated the explosion as an accident. More than a dozen orange-coloured butane gas bottles were found in the rubble and Eric Groby, the next door neighbour who was first to arrive at the scene, noticed gas immediately.

“There was a hissing sound of gas escaping from somewhere and it also smelt,” the Frenchman said on Friday as he waited to be allowed back to his house after the area had been cordoned off by police and fire fighters.

The force of the explosion was so strong that it had broken the plate Groby was holding in his hands, and a lump of rubble flew into his face, leaving him with a black eye.

Patrick Vinaros, another neighbour in this estate of mostly simple houses built in an unfashionable stretch of the Catalan coast, said the group of men who had been squatting the house for almost a year kept themselves to themselves.

“We never spoke to them,” he said. “They weren’t unfriendly, but they made a lot of noise with their motorbikes.”

He said the men who frequented the house seemed to be Muslims, with some wearing long beards.

Updated

Soon after one the main thoroughfares in their city became the scene of a terror attack, Barcelona residents responded with an outpouring of kindness, offering places to stay, free rides and translation services to anyone caught up in Thursday’s attacks.

Echoing initiatives launched after the attacks in France, Belgium and Manchester, hundreds of Barcelona residents invited people into their homes on Thursday tagging posts with #bedinbarcelona.

Miguel García Casado said he would be taking in a French couple and their two children who had been caught up in the attacks. “What movie and special dinner should we make?” García Casado wrote on Twitter.

The family were tourists who were staying in Penedès, some 60 miles from Barcelona, but were stranded as their car was parked in a closed-off area of Plaça de Catalunya. The night proved fun, he said. “I’m explaining to their youngest daughter what the monarchy is. I’m dying of laughter,” he wrote. “In the end, we had pizza and watched Hotel Transylvania 2,” he added, sharing a picture of the group on Twitter.

As news broke that more than 100 people had been injured in the Las Ramblas attack, dozens of the city’s residents queued to donate blood. On Thursday, authorities said they had enough reserves to attend to all of the injured.

Offers of help continued to pour in from Catalonia after police said they had expanded their operations to the coastal town of Cambrils. Some offered translation services or baby supplies while several taxi companies and ride services offered free drives to anyone who might be in need.

Public transport officials announced there would be no charge for the metro or bus services in Barcelona and Tourism Barcelona said it was working with the hotel chain Gremi D’Hotels to offer alternative hotel rooms to stranded tourists.

At the Taller de Tapas restaurant – located metres from Thursday’s deadly attack – dozens packed into the restaurant after fleeing Las Ramblas. Waiters handed out water and plates of the classic tapas dish patatas bravas, doing what they could to calm people. “We had people here from all over the world and I was trying my best to reassure them,” employee Gurdeep Singh told La Vanguardia.

Immediately after the attack, police had asked the restaurant to close its doors, said Singh. But after seeing people panicking and in tears on Las Ramblas, Singh said he began inviting people to take shelter in the restaurant. “I left the door open and I was there for about six or seven hours. There were groups, kids, strollers – everything. I couldn’t not let them in.”

Catalan police say they are still trying to identify the driver of the van used in the Barcelona attack, despite local media reports that he was among the five killed by officers during the later attack in Cambrils.

Flights to Barcelona are operating normally and are expected to continue to do so over the coming days, British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have said.

BA said customers with tickets to or from Barcelona were being offered “a range of options if they wish to bring forward or postpone their journey”. However, those ­holding non-refundable tickets would face charges to change their flights. “Anyone with concerns about their booking should contact us or their travel agent,” the airline said.

Travellers returning home early as a result of the attacks are unlikely to recoup the extra costs they incur. Being involved in such an attack is rare but most travel policies specifically exclude financial claims that arise as a result of a terrorist incident. It is the same for anyone who is due to fly out this weekend but who has decided not to travel.

Those tourists in Barcelona who were forced to spend the night in alternative accommodation because police cordons ­prevented them returning to their hotels are also unlikely to be covered.

EasyJet, which operates 32 flights a day between Barcelona and the UK, advised passengers to check the status of their flight on its site.

The Foreign Office website warns that “terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Spain” and that “attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners”. It said that 12 million British people visited Spain last year and most visits were “trouble-free”.

Updated

Citizens from at least 34 countries, including France, Belgium, Germany, Venezuela, Australia, Ireland, Peru, Algeria and China, have been injured or killed, according to Catalan authorities.

Here’s what we know so far about those who died:

The king of Morocco has expressed his condolences to Spain after the Barcelona attack, over which three Moroccans have been arrested.

King Mohammed VI also condemned what he called an “odious criminal act, contrary to all human values and religious precepts”. A statement carried by the state news agency MAP read:

His Majesty the King expresses to King Felipe VI, and through him to all the families of victims and to the Spanish people, his sincere condolences and solidarity and compassion.

Spanish police say they have arrested four people in connection with the attacks, three of them Moroccan and one from the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Morocco’s northern coast.

Three Moroccan nationals were among those injured during the attack and were being treated in a Barcelona hospital, according to MAP.

Updated

At the suspected bomb factory in Alcanar, where it is thought the attack was planned, police are still digging through the rubble after an explosion. An ambulance also turned up.

Neighbours talked of men on high-powered motor bikes going to and fro for almost a year. The explosion there rained rubble and body parts on to neighbours.

Barcelona van driver is dead – reports

The man who drove the van during the Barcelona terrorist attack was later shot dead during the further attack in Cambrils, according to local media reports.

The reports were carried in Spain’s El Pais and El Periodico newspapers. Catalan police had said earlier that it was possible the driver was among those killed in the second incident, though they could not be certain.

Updated

A 26-year-old tourist from Australia who was caught up in Thursday’s Las Ramblas attack has said it was the third terrorist attack she has experienced since she began travelling Europe almost three months ago.

Julia Monaco ended up in lockdown in the London tube in June after a speeding van hit pedestrians on the London Bridge and attackers stabbed people with knives in cafes and restaurants at Borough market. Days later, she was in Paris when French police shot a man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside of the Notre Dame cathedral.

She continued her travels, ending up in a shop off Las Ramblas on Thursday as a van ploughed into the crowds outside. The shop’s doors were locked and panic spread as people began to suspect that something serious was taking place outside.

“The next second, we were literally running for our lives to the very back of the store, where we were told to get on the ground away from the windows and lay as flat as possible,” Monaco told the Australian radio station 3AW.

Along with about 10 others – including two screaming children – Monaco hid behind a clothing display for about 30 minutes, before being evacuated by police. She later made it safely back to where she was staying.

Monaco said she was rattled by her third brush with terror, but adamant that she would continue her travels. “I don’t feel like I want to go home,” she said. “I feel like I want to stay here and not let them, whoever they might be, win.”

Police seek four men – reports

The Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia reported late on Friday afternoon that the police were hunting four suspects. It named them as 17-year-old Moussa Oukabir – the suspect thought to have driven the van along Las Ramblas – Mohamed Hychami, 24, Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, and Said Aallaa, 18. All live in or close to the Catalonian town of Ripoll. Oukabir’s age has also been given elsewhere as 18.

The alleged terrorists related to attacks in Spain. A handout photo made available by the Spanish police shows (left to right, top to bottom) Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abauyaaqoub.
The alleged terrorists related to attacks in Spain. A handout photo made available by the Spanish police shows (left to right, top to bottom) Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abauyaaqoub.
Photograph: Spanish Police HO HANDOUT/EPA

Updated

A British family who were metres away from the Las Ramblas van attack, have praised the quick reactions of the police and the kindness of strangers, which made them feel secure.

Jackie Rado, 51, and her daughter Kristin RadoBarr, 14, who were on a family holiday with Tony Barr, 46, and Alexander RadoBarr, 12, were shopping at the make-up shop Sephora 100 yards from La Rambla. The family were separated for three hours as the area was put on lockdown.

‘My son was waiting for us, that was hard for him’ – Jackie Rado, 51, London

We were just about to leave Sephora, on the corner of La Rambla, and get ice -cream at La Bocqueria, but we were distracted by something on sale. We were on the ground floor and suddenly people started to race downstairs, hysterical. We were scared and no one knew what was going on.

We could hear sirens. We were right where it was happening. We were locked in the store for three and a half hours. I just kept trying not to think about it and stay calm.

I keep pushing away the thought of what might have happened if we hadn’t done an about-turn in the store.

‘I was very relieved when they came home. At that point we felt the danger has passed’ – Tony Barr, 46

I was in the southwest of the area with my son, visiting football stores. As we were coming out of the metro on our way back to the hotel, people were telling us not to come to the area. There were a lot of street vendors at the top of the subway standing in a group and waving us away, telling us not to come up.

People were panicking and rushing and screaming. They checked everyone’s ID at the hotel before entering and kept everyone updated. We were in lockdown.

People are going out of their way to interact and smile to Muslim guests. At the toaster this morning, I discussed with a Muslim woman how hot we should put the toaster. It wasn’t forced, but I’m aware that we should all be thoughtful.

I wasn’t worried for our safety, but I was very upset and angry knowing how close they were to my family. They’d been closer to it than many people. I was upset about the intent of it. I was very relieved when they came home.

Updated

European security services have sometimes struggled to keep up with the reaction of militant networks when prepared attack plans go awry, whether through their own deliberate intervention or some kind of unexpected accident, such as the blast at Cambrils.

Bombs in Brussels in March last year which killed 35 people, including three attackers, came 48 hours after police raids targeting the network responsible. Several members escaped the dragnet and went on to launch an improvised operation. Rafaello Pantucci, an expert on Islamic militancy at Royal United Services Institute think-tank, said:

There’s always an anxiety after a disruption if it’s unclear whether [the authorities] have got the entire cell or network, and what the reaction of any missing members might be.

Some militants, such as the Barcelona attackers, respond by rushing to execute new plans. Others go to ground. Mohammed Sadiq Khan, who led the 7/7 attackers in London in 2005 suspected he had been identified as a potential threat by MI5 owing to his peripheral involvement with a network responsible for an earlier abortive operation. Khan kept a low-profile for several months, before emerging to lead his own attack.

Though Spain had escaped an Islamist militant terrorist attack since 2004, the country has long been among those in Europe which are seen as facing an elevated threat. Its counter-terrorist services are broadly respected by counterparts across the continent and in the US. They routinely co-operate with North African services, particularly those of Morocco.

Updated

Thursday’s horrific attack doesn’t just sadden me but feels like a personal assault.

Read Harry Eyres’ love letter to Barcelona and, more specifically, Las Ramblas.

The Queen has sent a message of condolence to the king and people of Spain.

It is deeply upsetting when innocent people are put at risk in this way when going about their daily lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and the people who are recovering in hospital. Please convey our heartfelt sympathies to all who have been affected by these appalling incidents.

Lorenzo Vidino, the director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University and an expert on radicalisation and jihadist networks in the west, said Salafism has strong roots in Catalonia.

There is a long history of Salafism there, which is a different thing from violence and jihadism, so we have to be careful about that. There is a very extensive and entrenched Salafist community in Catalonia.

It’s not really in Barcelona. It’s really in the rural areas and the coastal areas. It’s almost exclusively Moroccan and started about 20 years ago with a lot of self-styled sheikhs. Keep in mind it’s a very rural migrant population living in poverty, it’s uneducated and a lot of people work in agriculture. You have these Salafist mosques which have traditionally received quite a lot of funding from the Gulf – the usual suspects, the Saudis, Qatar and particularly Kuwait.

The community organises very large gatherings during the Christmas and Easter holidays, because it is the gateway for migrants who live in continental Europe. If you are a Moroccan living in Holland or France or Germany, you can fly back home, but a lot of people drive. If you drive from Brussels or Paris, you drive through Catalonia. It’s a very logical of way of going.

So they do these very large gatherings, so you will see in small towns, say of 10,000 people, gatherings on Christmas Day of five or six thousand people and only a few are Moroccans from Catalonia. The speakers are big sheikhs from Saudi, from Kuwait, from other European countries. So that’s a very big scene there.

Vidino stressed the distinction between Salafism and radicalisation and support for violence.

There are different currents. There are currents there that are very conservative but not necessarily supporting violence. Having said that, it’s undeniable that that environment has created a milieu that is fertile for further radicalisation. It explains why there is more radicalisation than any other part of mainland Spain.

However, radicalisation is measured by the number of foreign fighters going to Syria or Iraq. There is less of a problem in Spain that in northern European countries. Vidino said about 200 had gone from Spain, a quarter of those who have travelled from the UK and less than one seventh of the number of French foreign fighters.

Updated

Further to the American who died in Spain, the US State Department says at least one more suffered a minor wound.

Details have begun to emerge of how one Catalan police officer shot dead four of the five attackers who tried to run people down in the coastal town of Cambrils in the early hours of Friday morning.

Police chief Josep Lluis Trapero, who is leading the investigation into the attacks, told a press conference on Friday afternoon that one officer had managed to kill all but one of the attackers.

He said that it was “not easy” for the officer involved despite being a professional.

According to the Barcelona-based paper La Vanguardia, a team of Mossos d’Esquadra was stationed at a police checkpoint near the roundabout outside the Club Nautic restaurant when the attackers’ Audi A3 ran down three people before smashing into the police car.

Seeing a colleague injured in the crash and noticing the terrorists emerging from their car with knives, machetes and axes, the officer raised his rifle and shot four of them dead.

The fifth attacker managed to escape and stab a pedestrian in the face before he was shot by another officer with a submachinegun.

According to La Vanguardia, the officer who shot the four attackers had been due to go on holiday this week. He is understood to be receiving psychological support in the aftermath of the incident.

One American has been confirmed among those who died in Spain, the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said.

Richard Gregg, from Dartford, in Kent, is on holiday in Barcelona. He said it was only good fortune that prevented him being among the victims of the attack on La Rambla.

The drama teacher and his partner were on a side road trying to return to their apartment off the main thoroughfare when they became aware of a commotion.

People were running, shouting: ‘People have been hit, there’s blood everywhere.’ We had nowhere to go apart from into Las Ramblas. We wanted to get back to our apartment and thought it might just be a car accident. It was quite surreal, literally. The van had just come to a stop on our road. Half the people didn’t know what had gone on at all. There was a large number of people from further up running away from what had happened.

He said police were flooding the side roads looking for someone he now knows to be the van driver, while other officers attended to victims on the ground.

We have been out [today] on La Rambla to see where the van ended up and where everyone was hurt and we’re really grateful because if we’d been there two minutes earlier or the van had been two minutes later we would have been in the path of it without a shadow of a doubt.

Gregg said he and his partner were shaken but determined to join the rest of their time in Barcelona before flying to Gran Canaria on Monday.

The mood is fairly defiant. There’s quite a large crowd gathering, of people determined they’re not going to let any form of terrorist atrocity detract from the way of life in Barcelona. At the end of the day we come from just south of London and had friends in the London Bridge attack. You can be caught up at any time, you just don’t know. We’re going to stay, we’re going to enjoy Barcelona as best we can.

Richard Gregg at Plaça de Catalunya
Richard Gregg at Plaça de Catalunya
Photograph: Richard Gregg

Updated

Trapero said police have no information connecting a police shootout in Sant Just Desvern, near Barcelona, on Thursday with the Las Ramblas and Cambrils attacks.

“We can’t link this incident to any of the other incidents,” he said.

Our graphics team have put together a timeline map of the attacks:

Timeline map

Updated

Trapero confirmed that the Cambrils attackers were wearing fake suicide belts.

“They were carrying belts which looked like suicide vests, but in the end they turned out to be fake,” he said. “They were trying to simulate explosives.”

He said the investigation is focused on those in the building in Alcanar and the vehicles in Barcelona and Cambrils.

According to a BBC translation, he said:

We think they [the suspects in Alcanar] were preparing at least one or more attacks in Barcelona. The explosion took out some of the material they were counting on to carrying out even bigger attacks than the ones that happened.

Because of that the attacks were carried out in a more rudimentary way than the one initially planned.

Updated

Trapero also revealed that a single police officer killed four of the suspects who carried out the attack in the Catalan seaside town of Cambrils. He said it was “not easy” for the officer involved, despite being a professional.

A total of five suspects were killed after the Cambrils attack in which a car ploughed into a crowd, killing a woman.

Updated

Trapero confirmed that the driver of the Barcelona van has still not been identified. He said one of the five suspects killed in Cambrils could have been the driver in Barcelona.

He added: “We’re working on the hypothesis that the authors [of the attacks] had been planning them both for a while in the building in Alcanar, but we can’t join up all the scenarios. It was a group – we don’t have a concrete number – but we’re not discounting the idea that they were planning other attacks.”

Trapero said there would be more news in a few hours.

Updated

Arrested suspects did not have terrorist record

Police chief Josep Lluis Trapero, who is leading the investigation into the attacks, said none of the four suspects arrested so far has a record of terrorist activity.

Three people in Ripoll and another in Alcanar have been arrested, he confirmed. “None of them have any kind of terrorist background,” he said. Three of those arrested are Moroccan citizens and one is Spanish, he added. The youngest was 21; the others were 28, 34 and 27.

He confirmed that police are working on the assumption that a bomb plot was being hatched at the home in Alcanar where there was an explosion on Wednesday. The explosion meant that a bigger attack being planned was not possible: they had to use more rudimentary methods instead.

He added: “It was a group, we do not know the specific number, but we do not rule out that they had other attacks in mind.”

He said there was a “clear link” between the Alcanar explosion and the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.

Updated

Spain’s King Felipe looks down as he stands along politicians including Mariano Rajoy while they observe a minute of silence in Barcelona.
Spain’s King Felipe looks down as he stands along politicians including Mariano Rajoy while they observe a minute of silence in Barcelona.
Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

The shouts of “I’m not afraid” rang out across Barcelona’s Plaça Catalunya, repeated rhythmically by the thousands who had gathered at noon in the hot sun to pay respects to the dead and injured in Thursday’s terrorist atrocity.

Red roses were held aloft during a minute’s silence, broken only by the distant wail of a siren – a reminder that at least one of the perpetrators is still at large.

King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy joined the residents and visitors for the vigil. The Catalan president, the mayor of Barcelona and other leading political figures were also in attendance.

“Unfortunately, Spaniards know the absurd and irrational pain that terrorism causes,” Rajoy said, as he declared three days of mourning. “We have received blows like this in recent years, but we also that terrorists can be beaten.”

Afterwards, the crowds descended down Las Ramblas, the wide boulevard that runs south from Plaça Catalunya, in an act of reclamation.

Updated

Fitzroy Davies, from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, who filmed the Cambrils attack (see earlier), said the suspects appeared to be using drink cans as part of fake suicide vests.

 

The five suspects, who were all killed, were wearing fake vests, police said after conducting controlled explosions.

Davies said:

They were running from a man wearing what appeared to be a suicide jacket but it looked fake. One of our colleagues, Winston, got up and saw people running past him and shouted: ‘Run, run.’

That’s when I started filming what was happening. I didn’t run away because I was thinking – ‘If this guy gets away and they need evidence then I want to help.’ I watch CSI Miami and all those programmes that was one of the reasons why I did that.

It looked like he was wearing Coke cans on him. I was about 15ft away and it didn’t look real. Within what felt like about 30 seconds the police came and shots were fired. The guy went down to the floor and then he came back up again. He was smiling. It looked like he was high on drugs. Then he was shot again and this time he didn’t get back up.

I wasn’t scared during the whole event. But afterwards I spoke to my wife and she was mad at me … she said anything could have happened.

Updated

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont praised the person who shouted “We are not afraid” after the minute’s silence in Barcelona.

“We are determined to win against terrorism with the best weapon that our society has and that is solidarity, freedom, respect.

“As proof of that we had this spontaneous with this shout of ‘We are not afraid.’ This has reconquered our public space. This is our weapon.”

Updated

The German foreign office has revealed that 13 German nationals are among those injured during Thursday’s attack on Las Ramblas.

Some of them were injured seriously and were still fighting for their lives, said spokesperson Martin Schäfer. He said he could neither confirm nor rule out earlier reports that three German citizens were among the 14 who died in the attack.

German media are reporting that a group of three teenage girls from Oberhausen in North-Rhine Westphalia are among those injured. Two 17-year-olds and one 14-year-old had been on a day trip to Barcelona when the incident occurred.

Updated

Rajoy spoke of the determination of the authorities to stop the perpetrators of the attacks as quickly as possible.

Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, and Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, are giving a press conference in Barcelona.

“The fight against terrorism is what concerns us most across Europe,” Rajoy said according to a BBC translation.

The level of terror alert in Spain will be reviewed at a meeting in Madrid on Saturday, he added.

Responding to a question about hiring vans, May said:

We must look carefully, of course, at the powers that our police and agencies need to be able to deal with terrorism. That’s why the government has initiated a review, which we did after the attacks that took place in Manchester and London earlier this year, to look at the capabilities that our police have to deal with this threat.

But, as we see from the attack in Barcelona, this is a threat that is faced across the world and we must work together to rid the internet of the poisonous material that drives terrorism and to deal with the terrorists.

PM: child missing

Theresa May
Theresa May
Photograph: POOL/Reuters

Theresa May says the authorities are looking into reports of a British child believed to be missing in Spain following the attacks.

In a pooled interview she said:

This morning, I spoke with Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, to offer my deepest condolences after the terrible attack that took place in Barcelona.

And the UK stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Spain in confronting and dealing with the evil of terrorism and I have offered any assistance that we can provide.

Sadly, I must tell that we do believe that a number of British nationals were caught up in the attack and we’re urgently looking into reports of a child believed missing, who is a British dual national.

The Foreign Office is offering consular assistance to those who were involved in the attack and their families and are working urgently to see if there are others who need their help. But we must work together if we are to confront this evil of terrorism.

Also, to confront and deal with the perverted extremist ideology which drives it; ridding the internet of poisonous material and ensuring that our police and security services have the powers that they need. Terrorism is the great threat that we all face. But, together, we will defeat it.

Catalan officials have listed (in Catalan) the 34 different nationalities of those killed and injured in both attacks.

The foreign ministers of Germany and France are due to arrive in Barcelona later on Friday. Sigmar Gabriel and Jean-Yves Le Drian said they wanted to show their solidarity with the victims, according to El Pais.

The mayor of Nice, where 86 people were killed a year ago by an attacker driving a lorry, has said he will convene European counterparts next month to see how they can improve security in the aftermath of the latest attacks, Reuters reports.

“I am convinced that life will prevail over death and that we will triumph over barbarism and terror,” Christian Estrosi told reporters after honouring Barcelona’s victims on the Promenade des Anglais, where dozens died on Bastille Day last year.

“It’s obvious that it is the mayors – be it in Berlin, London, Paris, Nice, Barcelona or Stockholm – that are the first to be confronted with this violence and who manage these public areas … but we are not the ones who take part in the big national and European reforms,” he said.

Estrosi said he had taken the difficult decision to spend €30m from his budget to protect potential target areas in Nice from possible vehicle attacks, and that cities needed more money to cope with the new threats.

He said the mayors of a number of cities, which he did not name, would meet on 28 September in Nice with Julian King, the European commissioner in charge of security issues. They would discuss ways to improve the situation and review national and European legislation and proposals that were at times too restrictive.

“We won’t win the war with the rules of peace,” Estrosi said.

Updated

17 people in a critical condition

The number of people injured in the attacks in Barcelona Cambrils has risen to 130, Reuters reports, citing an emergency services spokesman. He said 17 were in a critical condition and another 30 were in a serious condition.

Emergency services said in a statement that the dead and injured in the two attacks were of 34 different nationalities.

Updated

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has chaired a crisis meeting in Barcelona.

The meeting was held to co-ordinate the investigation into the terrorist attacks.

He said on Twitter that the meeting was to “analyse the latest details of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils”.

Updated

Fourth arrest

A fourth person has been arrested in connection with the attacks, according to the Spanish media, citing a police source.

Updated

Francisco López Rodríguez, 57, is the first Spanish victim to be named in the Barcelona attack. His wife was seriously injured in the attack on La Rambla in Barcelona, according to El Pais.

Updated

A woman waving a tiny Spanish flag during a vigil for the victims at Plaça de Catalunya was rounded on by the crowd who called on her to remove it. Members of the 20,000-strong crowd said the attacks should not be politicised and that national flags were not welcome at the event.

Gary Fisher, 57, from Notting Hill in London, a holidaymaker who attended the minute’s silence in Plaça de Catalunya, says there was a noticeable absence of national flags.

“After the minute’s silence everyone started clapping. People were chanting ‘we shall not fear’. A woman who was waving a Spanish flag, but she was shouted at to put it away. She was upset and took the flag down. Some people want to show the flag to come together as a nation. But people in the crowd were saying this was not a time for nationalism.

“After that everyone filled out and walked slowly down Las Ramblas,” he said. “It was very moving. Everyone is very calm and dignified today. It’s back to normal. Last night I was busy until 1.30am. I went to some of the bars which were packed with people, and the beach was full, and people were even playing beach volleyball.”

Updated

British police are to meet holidaymakers returning from Catalonia at the border to take statements, Scotland Yard’s lead for counter-terrorism policing, Mark Rowley, has said.

He added that the terrorism threat was global and nations needed to work together to defeat it.

Our thoughts are with Spain, the victims, their families and all the other people affected by yesterday’s barbaric attack in Barcelona.

We are liaising closely with the Spanish authorities and await further updates regarding the nationalities of the deceased and injured.

Officers are at UK ports today ready to meet British holiday-makers returning to the UK from the region in order to take any witness accounts. Anyone who has returned from Spain can also call the confidential hotline with information on 0800 789 321. We are also urging people who have images or footage that may assist investigators to upload them to Ukpoliceimageappeal.com

The current threat is global and it is only by working together that it can be defeated. Our network of counter-terrorism police liaison officers posted in locations around the world help us connect investigations internationally. We have a long tradition of collaboration with the very capable Spanish police on terrorism matters.

Rowley said the UK threat level remained at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.

British people among the injured

The Foreign Office said earlier it was helping a “small number” of British citizens caught up in the Barcelona attack. It has now clarified that those people were injured. A spokeswoman said:

Our thoughts are with the victims of these terrible attacks and the people of Spain.

We are currently assisting a small number of British people affected and are working to find out if any more need our help. We have deployed additional staff to Barcelona and have offered support to the Spanish authorities.

Updated

Following the minute’s silence in Barcelona, the crowd shouted ‘I’m not afraid’.

 

Standing silent in the Plaza de Catalunya, Rajoy joined the king and Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia.

Rajoy and Puigdemont, who are at loggerheads as the separatist Catalan government attempts to break away from Spain, put their differences aside.

 

Updated

What we know so far

The death toll of the attacks in Spain has risen to 14 people; two of whom have been named: Bruno Gulotta, a father of two, and 44-year-old Elke Vanbockrijck from the Belgian town of Tongeren.

Spanish police are searching for Moussa Oukabir, who they believe was driving the van in the Barcelona attack. He is the younger brother of Driss Oukabir – one of three people arrested by police thus far.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed that it was helping a “small number” of British citizens caught up in the Barcelona attack. It would not say whether they had been injured.

Here is what we know about the related terrorist attacks that took place on Thursday and Friday:

Barcelona

  • A man drove a van into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, killing 13 people and injuring 100.
  • The first victim of the attack was named as an Italian father of two, Bruno Gulotta. He was on holiday with his partner and children, according to his workmates.
  • Spanish police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, the teenager who is suspected of being the driver of the van.
  • A minute’s silence was held in Barcelona’s main square, followed by several minutes of applause. Spain’s King Felipe and its prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, attended. A minute’s silence was also held at the EU buildings in Brussels.
  • A seven-year-old Australian boy, Julian Cadman, became separated from his mother, who is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
  • Authorities say the subsequent attack in Cambrils is linked to the terrorist assault on Barcelona.
  • Two suspects arrested on Thursday are being held on suspicion of links to the Barcelona attack, but police say neither of them was the driver.
  • A second van that was believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle for the Barcelona attacker was found abandoned in Vic, 50 miles (80km) away.
  • Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack in Las Ramblas, but this could not be verified.

Cambrils

  • A second terrorist attack took place in Cambrils, a coastal town around 120km from Barcelona, in the early hours of Friday.
  • One person was killed and five bystanders and one police officer were injured – two seriously – when they were reported to have been deliberately hit by a car.
  • The attackers were wearing fake suicide vests, according to Catalan officials cited by El Pais.
  • The Audi A3 used in the Cambrils attack was removed by police. Its back window was smashed and it was upside down.
  • Police officers shot dead five suspects, some of whom were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts.
  • Javier Zaragoza, the head of the Audiencia Nacional, the court that deals with terror offences, said on Friday that those killed had no known links to jihadism.

Alcanar

  • Officials are also linking the two attacks to an earlier explosion that destroyed a house in Alcanar, killing one person and wounding at least one more. Police now say they believe explosives were being prepared at the property.
  • Alcanar is about 200km (124 miles) from Barcelona and 90km (56 miles) from Cambrils.

Sant Just Desvern

  • On Thursday, a man was found dead after a shootout at a police roadblock in a town close to Barcelona. Police said it was not connected to the attack in Las Ramblas.
  • On Friday morning, it emerged that the dead man – the owner of the car – was not in the driver’s seat and had in fact been stabbed to death.
  • A hunt is under way for the person driving the car to the roadblock.
  • It is now thought possible that this incident is also linked to the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, and the explosion in Alcanar.

Updated

If you witnessed the attack in Las Ramblas or Cambrils or have been affected by them, you can share your experiences with us.

You can share eyewitness accounts, photos and videos or news tips via GuardianWitness or via WhatsApp by adding the contact +44(0)7867825056. You can also email: carmen.fishwick@theguardian.com

We’ll use a selection of responses in our reporting.

Please think about your security first when recording and sharing your content and follow the advice of local authorities.

Death toll increases to 14

The death toll from both attacks has risen to 14 after a woman died from her injuries in the Cambrils died attack, the Catalan emergency services have confirmed.

‘Small number’ of Britons caught up in Barcelona attack

The Foreign Office in London has confirmed that it is helping a “small number” of British citizens caught up in the Barcelona attack.

It would not say whether they had been injured.

A spokeswoman said:

“Our thoughts are with the victims of these terrible attacks and the people of Spain.”

“We are currently assisting a small number of British people affected and are working to find out if any more need our help. We have deployed additional staff to Barcelona and have offered support to the Spanish authorities.”

Updated

Belgian officials have identified a woman from the town of Tongeren killed in the van attack in Barcelona as Elke Vanbockrijck, AP reports.

Two officials, who declined to be identified on the record, confirmed Vanbockrijck’s name.

Tongeren Mayor Patrick Dewael said in a tweet late Thursday that a woman from his town had died, and sent his condolences. He told Belgian radio that he had presided over her wedding in 2014.

Belgian media said the 44-year-old woman was holidaying in Barcelona with her husband and sons.
Foreign minister Didier Reynders also confirmed that two Belgians were injured in the attack, one of them seriously.

Peter Beyen, from Ostend claimed to be a colleague. He tweeted:

Video of the aftermath of the Cambrils attack has been published by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

It was taken by Fitzroy Davies (see earlier).

Scott Strudwick, from the UK, was on holiday with his family, including two children, in Barcelona when he was caught up in the attack on Las Ramblas.

They were heading towards the popular tourist spot to get a bus back to their hotel when they saw people running in the opposite direction and police pushing them into shops.

He ended up in a department store with his family. Strudwick told the BBC:

We were on the second floor of the shop and people came running through the shop. We later found out that there was a rumour that they’d been gunfire and potentially a terrorist in the shop, which turned out to be false but at that point they didn’t know that.

We didn’t understand what was going on because we don’t speak Spanish, which was probably a blessing in hindsight. But the panic was quite infectious and we were all driven back into the back of the shop and then we went into a hairdressing salon and we hid in a small storage cupboard at the end [of the salon].

We were crammed in, it was very frightening, lots of people crying, lots of people very upset.

But Strudwick said they were hoping to continue their holiday. He said:

Life seems to be returning to normal, I think people are fairly resilient. These sort of attacks, people don”t want them to get the best of them, they’re trying to go on.

We certainly will be taking advice but our plans will be to go and do pretty much what we were going to do yesterday, albeit we’ll be obviously much more aware.

King and PM observe minute’s silence in Barcelona

Thousands of people have also held a minute’s silence in Barcelona’s main square. The event was attended by Spain’s king Felipe its prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

The silence was followed by several minutes of applause.

A minute’s silence has been held at the European Union buildings in Brussels where flags have been lowered to half-mast.

What can be done after Europe’s seventh vehicle attack in a year, asks Simon Jenkins. Toning down the reporting would help, he suggests.

It would help if grotesque publicity were not given to these acts of terror. It distorts risk, encourages imitation and undermines freedom from fear. How to report yet not “promote”, how to convey sympathy without propagating fear, is a skill at which the media is all at sea.

Updated

First victim named

The first victim to be named in the Barcelona attack was an Italian father of two.

Bruno Gulotta was on holiday with his partner and two children, according to his workmates at Tom’s Hardware.

The company’s Facebook page said it was in mourning.

The Telegraph adds:

Gulotta was crushed to death on the Ramblas by the terrorist lorry while strolling down the Ramblas hand in hand with his five-year-old son who his wife, Martina, managed to snatch to safety in the nick of time, she was quoted as telling friends.

Martina was following her husband carrying their seven-month-old baby girl, Aria, in a rucksack she was wearing on her chest when Bruno was run down, la Repubblica newspaper quoted her telling his workmates.

Martina grabbed their son Alessandro, aged five, and rushed both children to safety but Gulotta, aged 35, was killed instantly.

Updated

Barcelona will proudly rise stronger from this day of horror, writes Francesc Badia i Dalmases, editor of DemocraciaAbierta.

It will remain a modern, attractive, cosmopolitan and increasingly global city. We are all united in this endless battle against extremism, and today there is less room than ever for what Robert Kaplan once brilliantly called the narcissism of small differences.

Updated

Spanish police investigating the Barcelona terrorist attack are hunting a teenager who is suspected of driving the van that ploughed along Las Ramblas on Thursday, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than 100.

Police sources have told Spanish media that the man they are looking for is Moussa Oukabir, the younger brother of Driss Oukabir, who was arrested yesterday on suspicion of hiring the van used in the attack. Driss Oukabir has denied involvement and is reported to have told police that his identity documents had been stolen and used to obtain the vehicle.

Catalan police believe that Moussa Oukabir, who is 18, according to El Pais, fled the scene of the atrocity by road and is still on the run. He is reported elsewhere to be 17.

Officers have so far arrested three people, including Driss Oukabir, in connection with the attack.

Updated

In a series of tweets, the Holby City actor Laila Rouass said she hid in a freezer in a restaurant during the attack on Las Ramblas.

Rouass is partner to five times snooker world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Updated

Police have removed the black Audi used in the attack in Cambrils.

An employee starts to tow away a car involved in a terrorist attack in Cambrils, a city 120km south of Barcelona.
An employee starts to tow away a car involved in a terrorist attack in Cambrils, a city 120km south of Barcelona.
Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

The broadcaster RTVE has published an image of the 18-year-old Las Ramblas suspect Moussa Oukabir.

Moussa Oukabir is believed to be the younger brother of Driss Oukabir, who was arrested in Ripoll, north of Barcelona.

He is reported to have told police that his identity documents were stolen before they were used to rent the van.

Updated

Police investigating the cell behind the attack are working on the theory that the numerous butane gas bottles at the site of the explosion in Alcanar on Wednesday were to be used in a bomb attack in Barcelona.

An explosion occurred while they were being prepared as bombs, police assume.

Amy Howell, 42, from Dallas was on holiday in Barcelona when the attack took place.

My friend and I were walking in the area and all of sudden I dropped sunglasses and they broke. I ran into Mango, the clothing store, to grab a new pair when all of a sudden I just heard screaming. Then the next thing I know everyone was running out and there was just complete chaos.

The scary thing is seeing the looks on everyone’s face as they came towards you, it was clear something horrible had happened. I shouted for my friend and the next thing we knew, we were pulling down the security gates at the shop. There were gunshots and we barricaded ourselves in, shutting all the lights off and turning off all the music.

All you could hear was silence. It was really weird. Barcelona is a fun, big, busy, loud city and for a good three hours you could hear a pin drop. We were just locked in the store.

Some people were crying, a few kids crying. It was surreal. No one could believe what was going on and then an older lady either had a heart attack or stroke or something. The Mango staff ended up doing CPR and we thought she might die. The staff saved her life and she recovered but she couldn’t get into an ambulance until some time later.

After about three hours the police came and let us out. Me and my friend didn’t cry about everything that happened until we sat down and had a glass of wine in a cafe later.

Updated

Spanish police name 18-year-old suspect

Spanish police have a named a 18-year-old suspect in the Barcelona attack, El Mundo reports.

Moussa Oukabir is suspected to be the driver of Las Ramblas van.

Earlier, Driss Oukabir, originally named as the suspect, was arrested in Ripoll, north of Barcelona. He is reported to have told police that his identity documents were stolen before they were used to rent the van.

Updated

Fitzroy Davies, from Wolverhampton, was caught up in the second attack in Cambrils.

He said he was in Spain for a judo camp and in a meeting with the coaches in a bar when the incident unfolded. He told the BBC:

“These girls ran into the bar off the street and then people were running up the road. One of our guys stood up, looked and just said ‘run’, so we all ran.

This guy came running up the road and was shouting something.

I didn’t know what it was, so we said call the police.

Within 30 seconds the police was [sic] already there, jumped out of the car, started shouting at the guy; the guy was then saying something else again.

And then they – ‘pop, pop’ – did a couple of shots and he fell down.

He stood back up and then he stepped over the fence and he started, he was taunting, smiling and he carried on walking to the police, and then they gave it to him again, a couple more shots and then he fell to the ground.”

Four Cubans were injured in Barcelona and a fifth was hurt in the Cambrils attack, according to the news site Cuba Debate.

The Cuban Embassy in Spain and its Consulate in Barcelona have been in contact with the families of the four Cubans injured in Barcelona. A fifth was slightly injured in Cambrils and has since been discharged from hospital.

Updated

China’s foreign ministry said two people from Taiwan were severely injured in the Barcelona attack, writes Wang Zhen in Beijing.
Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and its premier, Li Keqing, have both written to King Felipe of Spain to express their condolences over the terror attack in Barcelona.
Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, said: “China strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain. We send our condolences to the victims and their families, and express our sympathy to those who were injured.”

Hua said two people from Taiwan had been severely injured in the attack and were being treated in hospital. A Hong Kong citizen sustained light injuries and has been discharged.

Hua told reporters: “I want to reiterate here, China is firmly against any forms of terrorism, and firmly offers its support for Spain’s efforts to combat terrorism and safeguard its national security. China will also strengthen cooperation with the international community, including Spain, in this regard”

Barcelona is known as a focal point of jihadist radicalisation in Spain. A study published in June by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, found that of the 178 individuals arrested in Spain in the last three years for terrorism-related activities almost a quarter came from Barcelona.

Nine out of every 10 detainees radicalized partly or fully while inside Spain. However, far from this phenomenon happening uniformly with respect to the size and distribution of the Muslim population across the country, it occurred in clusters. The four administrative demarcations where detainees radicalized coincide with their residence: the Catalonian province of Barcelona (23.2%), the North African city of Ceuta (22.2%), Madrid and its metropolitan area (19.2%), and Melilla, the other Spanish enclave surrounded by Moroccan territory (12.1%).

Max Gayler, 23, from Birmingham witnessed the aftermath of the attack in Barcelona.

He said:

I am sat right where I was yesterday. I live close to the centre and was walking to see a friend on other side of city when I heard screaming, lots of it at first. Half a second later people started coming down a really narrow ally surround Las Rambas. Everyone was yelling at me and telling me to run. Then the police turned up and they were also telling people to run down the street

I left immediately. I was very lucky I didn’t see anyone initially hit but as I walking away I went past one of smaller local health centres. I saw someone surrounded by people.

When it happened you just join the crowd – the fear hits you and you just immediately need to get away. It feels surreal. You run for about 30 seconds and then stop and check to see if it’s real. Police were pushing people back. By the end of last night you could not get anywhere near the centre, everything was shut down.

Lots of people were stranded. I have a friend who was at top of Las Rambas in a cafe and they were locked in for two and half hours. Hotels were keeping people in and helping people in whatever way they could. Some time in the night the police pushed the tape back and allowed people to access Las Rambas again.

The atmosphere today is very strange – people are going about their businesses as if nothing happened. It’s very quiet. Barcelona is notoriously loud and never sleeps but lots of people very quiet right now.

Updated

Australian boy missing

A seven-year-old boy who became separated from his mother is missing after the Barcelona terror attack, his Australian family say.

Sydney man Tony Cadman has posted on Facebook that his grandson Julian Cadman is missing and the boy’s mum Jom is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

His father Andrew Cadman said he had spoken to his son only hours before he went missing. Cadman was travelling to Barcelona to search for Julian.

His family have been sharing a photo of Julian to help in the search for the boy.

The foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, has said one Australian is missing and four others have been injured in the attack.

Updated

The authorities investigating both the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks believe a cell of eight people may have been involved, according to Reuters. They had been planning an attack with gas canisters, it said citing an unnamed judicial source.

PA has more on injuries to an Irish family caught up in the Barcelona attack.

A five-year-old Irish boy suffered a broken leg when his family was caught up in the terror attack in Barcelona,
The boy’s father also has leg injuries.

Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, Simon Coveney, said: “They are not life-threatening, I’m relieved to say.

“But in a way it’s a miracle that more Irish people weren’t involved, given that there are so many Irish people in Spain, Barcelona and Cambrils at this time of year.”

The father and son were part a family of four, including the mother and a daughter, and are understood to have been on a trip to celebrate the boy’s birthday.

The youngster suffered a broken femur.

The mother and father are understood to be from Cebu in the Philippines and are naturalised Irish citizens. They hold dual citizenship. The children were born in Ireland.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs is assisting the family.

Its officials opened a hotline in Dublin for anyone concerned about relatives in Spain on 01-408 2000 while the Irish Embassy in Madrid was also fielding calls on +34 9143 64093.

Cambrils suspects wearing fake suicide vests

The suspects in the Cambrils attack were wearing fake suicide vests according to Catalan officials cited by El Pais.

Controlled explosions confirmed the vests were fake, according to a Catalan radio journalist.

All five suspects were shot dead by police.

A similar tactic was used in the London Bridge attack in June. All three of the attackers in that incident wore leather belts that were attached to disposable water bottles wrapped in silver masking tape, an attempt to replicate a suicide bomb belt.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is helping an Irish family of four caught up in the attack.

A father of two, originally from the Philippines but who lives in Ireland was on holiday with his wife and two children, when he was hit on the side.

He may need an operation but his injuries are not life threatening, Dr Emmanuel Fernandez, consul general of the embassy of the Philippines in Madrid, told the Irish broadcaster RTE.

If you witnessed the attack in Las Ramblas or Cambrils, or have been affected by them, you can share your experiences with us here.

Alternatively, you can share eyewitness accounts, photos and videos or news tips via GuardianWitness or via WhatsApp by adding the contact+44(0)7867825056. You can also email: sarah.marsh@theguardian.com

We’ll use a selection of responses in our reporting.

Please think about your security first when recording and sharing your content and follow the advice of local authorities.

Updated

What we know so far

A third suspect has been arrested on Friday morning in Ripoll, north of Barcelona. Driss Oukabir, originally named as the suspect, was arrested in the same town on Thursday. He is reported to have told police that his identity documents were stolen before they were used to rent the van.

Here is what we know about the related terror attacks that took place on Thursday and Friday:

Cambrils

  • A second terror attack took place in Cambrils, a coastal town around 120km from Barcelona, in the early hours of Friday morning.
  • Six bystanders and one police officer were injured – two seriously – when they were reportedly deliberately hit by a car. An overturned Audi A3, with its back window smashed, was pictured at the scene.
  • Police officers shot dead five suspects, some of whom were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts.
  • Javier Zaragoza, the head of the Audiencia Nacional, the court that deals with terror offences, said on Friday that those killed had no known links to jihadism.

Barcelona

  • Authorities say the Cambrils attack is linked to the terrorist assault on Barcelona on Thursday, when a man drove a van into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, killing 13 people and injuring 100 more.
  • The driver escaped the scene and remains at large.
  • Two suspects arrested on Thursday are being held on suspicion of links to the Barcelona attack, but police say neither of them is the driver.
  • A second van that was believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle for the Barcelona attacker was found abandoned in Vic, 80km away.
  • Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack in Las Ramblas, but this could not be verified.

Alcanar

  • Officials are also linking the two attacks to an earlier explosion that destroyed a house in Alcanar, killing one person and wounding at least one more. Police now say they believe explosives were being prepared at the property.
  • Alcanar is around 200km (124 miles) from Barcelona and 90km (56 miles) from Cambrils.

Sant Just Desvern

  • On Thursday, a shootout at a police roadblock in a town close to Barcelona left a man dead. Police said it was not connected to the attack in Las Ramblas.
  • On Friday morning, it emerged that the dead man – the owner of the car – was not in the driver’s seat and had in fact been stabbed to death.
  • A hunt is now underway for the person driving the car to the roadblock.
  • It is possible that this incident is also linked to the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, and the explosion in Alcanar.

Updated

Emergency services now say more than 100 people injured in the attack in Las Ramblas are being treated in 15 hospitals across the region.

Javier Zaragoza, the head of the Audiencia Nacional, the court that deals with terror offences, has said the Cambrils terrorists had no known links to jihadism.

Five suspects were shot dead by police in the early hours of Friday morning after reportedly running down pedestrians with a car.

The vehicle – an Audi A3 – is pictured this morning in the seaside town, overturned and with its back windscreen smashed or shot out.

Police officers walk near an overturned car onto a platform at the spot where terrorists were intercepted by police in Cambrils, Spain, Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. The police force for Spain’s Catalonia region says the five suspects shot and killed in the resort town of Cambrils were carrying bomb belts, which have been detonated by the force’s bomb squad. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Updated

The attacks in Spain have dominated newspaper front pages around the world. Read our roundup here.

Spain’s Ara leads with the headline Sense Por – Without Fear.

The youngest victim of the Barcelona attack is believed to be a three-year-old girl. A six-year-old girl is also seriously ill in hospital.

Citizens from 24 countries are among the 13 killed and 100 wounded in the attack in Las Ramblas, Catalan officials said.

Three of the dead are believed to be German. Belgium’s foreign affairs minister, Didier Reynders, confirmed one Belgian had also died.

France says 26 of its citizens are injured, at least 11 of them seriously.

Four Australians were wounded: two women remain in hospital in a serious but stable condition, while two men were treated and released.

Three people from the Netherlands are among the wounded, along with a woman and her two children from Greece.

A Hong Kong citizen suffered minor injuries, as did one American.

Here is what we know about the victims so far:

Third person arrested

Catalan police say a third person has been arrested.

The suspect was detained in Ripoll, about 96km (60 miles) north of Barcelona, where one of the two men already in custody, Driss Oukabir, was arrested on Thursday.

Stephen Burgen reports from Barcelona:

There were reports on Thursday afternoon that a car drove through a roadblock on the Avinguda Diagonal in the south of the city, injuring one police officer.

The incident took place at at 19.45, around two hours and 20 minutes after the attack in Las Ramblas.

It was reported shortly afterwards that the car was intercepted a few kilometres out of the city in Sant Just Desvern, where the driver was shot dead by police.

However, in the early hours of this morning Joaquim Forn, the Catalan interior minister, confirmed that the victim had died of stab wounds and was found in the passenger seat of the car.

The man, as yet unnamed, was the car’s owner and has no criminal record, suggesting that the car was hijacked and the hijacker got away, although there has been no official confirmation.

Updated

This is from the Guardian’s Madrid correspondent, Sam Jones:

Spain’s El Mundo is reporting that postmortem examinations have already been carried out on the bodies of the 13 people who died in Barcelona.

DNA samples have also been taken and dental examinations will follow.

Updated

What we know so far

Cambrils

  • A second terror attack has taken place in Cambrils, a coastal town around 120km from Barcelona. Six bystanders and one police officer were injured – two seriously – when they were reportedly deliberately hit by a car.
  • Police officers then shot dead five suspects, some of whom were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts.

Barcelona

  • Authorities say the attack is linked to the terrorist assault on Barcelona earlier on Thursday, when a man drove a van into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, killing 13 people and injuring 100 more.
  • The driver escaped the scene and remains at large.
  • Two suspects whom police believe to be linked to the Barcelona attack are in custody, although neither is the driver. One is Driss Oukabir, originally named as the suspect, although he is reported to have told police that his identity documents were stolen before they were used to rent the van.
  • A second van that was believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle for the Barcelona attacker was found abandoned in Vic, 80km away.
  • Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack in Las Ramblas, but this could not be verified.

 

Alcanar

  • Officials are also linking the two attacks to an earlier explosion that destroyed a house in Alcanar, killing one person and wounding at least one more. Police now say they believe explosives were being prepared at the property.
  • Alcanar is around 200km (124 miles) from Barcelona and 90km (56 miles) from Cambrils.

Sant Just Desvern

  • On Thursday, a shootout at a police roadblock in a town close to Barcelona left a man dead. Police said it was not connected to the attack in Las Ramblas.
  • On Friday morning, it emerged that the dead man – the owner of the car – was not in the driver’s seat and had in fact been stabbed to death.
  • A hunt is now underway for the person driving the car to the roadblock.
  • It is possible that this incident is also linked to the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, and the explosion in Alcanar.

Updated

Three Germans and one Belgian among 13 dead

According to Spanish media, police have confirmed that among the 13 people killed in Barcelona were three Germans and one Belgian.

No further details have been released at this stage.

The French foreign ministry says 26 of its citizens are among the more than 100 injured in the attack in Barcelona.

Eleven of them are in a serious condition, it says.

The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will visit Barcelona on Friday.

Between the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, and while police were hunting the driver of the van that ploughed through Las Ramblas, officials said a man had been killed at a shootout at a police roadblock in Sant Just Desvern, but said it was not connected to the terror attack.

This version of events now seems to be in doubt.

Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn has said this morning that the man – whom police had identified as the owner of the car – did not die from gunshot wounds.

La Vanguardia reports that the man in fact died of stab wounds and was not in the driver’s seat. It says police are now hunting the person who was behind the wheel – raising the possibility that this man was indeed involved in the attack in Las Ramblas.

The police checkpoint at Sant Just Desvern.
The police checkpoint at Sant Just Desvern.
Photograph: Andreu Dalmau/EPA

Updated

Of the seven people (six bystanders and one police officer) injured during the attack on Cambrils, five remain in hospital.

One is in a critical condition, two in a serious condition, and two are stable, according to emergency services.

A view of Las Ramblas on Friday morning:

Events began to unfold on Wednesday night in Alcanar, 200km south of Barcelona.

An explosion at a house in the tiny town of Alcanar, the southernmost point of Catalonia, killed one person and wounded 16.

Senior police official Josep Lluis Trapero said the blast was related to the van attack in Barcelona, and that those in the house were attempting to “prepare an explosive device”.

Police said the blast was the result of an accumulation of gas, but did not release further details. Most injuries occured after firefighters and police officers were caught by a second blast while investigating the initial explosion.

Updated

Las Ramblas van driver remains at large

The hunt continues for the driver of the van who killed 13 people in Las Ramblas and injured 100 more.

The Catalan interior minister, Joaquim Forn, said on Friday morning that the Barcelona attacker remains at large.

Police shot dead five other suspects in Cambrils after a second terror attack in the early hours of Friday morning. Authorities say the two attacks are linked.

Forn told local radio RAC1 early Friday:

[It] follows the same trail. There is a connection.

Both are also being linked to an explosion in Alcanar, around 200km from Barcelona and 90km from Cambrils, which destroyed a house, killing one person. Police say the property was being used to prepare explosives.

The van was removed from La Rambla overnight.
The van was removed from La Rambla overnight.
Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Updated

What we know about those killed and injured

Barcelona

  • 13 people are confirmed to have died after a van was driven into pedestrians in Las Ramblas.
  • Around 100 people were injured, at least 15 of them seriously.
  • Two men have been arrested – including Driss Oukabir, who was initially suspected of being the driver – but police have now said neither man was behind the wheel. They remain in custody.
  • Police are still searching for the driver.

Cambrils

  • Six bystanders were wounded, one critically and another seriously, in a second terror attack in which a vehicle was driven at pedestrians in an echo of the Barcelona attack.
  • Police shot dead four suspects in the coastal town, around 120kms from Barcelona. A fifth, who was injured and arrested, has since died. Some were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts.
  • A police officer was also slightly injured in the counter-terror operation.

Alcanar

  • Before the attack in Las Ramblas, one person was killed and at least one other wounded in an explosion that destroyed a house in Alcanar, around 200km from Barcelona and 90km from Cambrils.
  • The cause was initially thought to be a gas leak but police now say they are linking it to the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.

Catalan police are asking anyone with information about the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils to contact them by email or phone:

News broke that police had shot and killed what they called “perpetrators” in the coastal town of Cambrils in the early hours of Friday morning.

Initially the circumstances of the police operation were unclear, although officials said they were responding to a “possible terror attack”.

Four suspects were shot and killed at the scene; a fifth was injured and arrested but later died.

It then emerged that the five are believed to have driven a vehicle – reportedly an Audi A3 – into pedestrians on Cambrils’ seafront, close to the Club Nàutic (yacht club).

Six bystanders and one police officer were wounded. The officer was only lightly injured, but two of the others are said by health authorities to be in a serious condition.

Police have confirmed that some of the five suspects appeared to be wearing explosive belts, and specialist bomb disposal teams were brought in.

Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has just confirmed that four Australians were injured in the attack in Barcelona.

Two men, including one who was hit by the van, have been treated in hospital and released.

Three have received consular support but one remains unaccounted for, she says.

There are no reports that Australians were caught up in the second attack at Cambrils, or the earlier house explosion at Alcanar.

What we know so far

  • A second terror attack has taken place in Cambrils, a coastal town around 120km from Barcelona. Six bystanders and one police officer were injured – two seriously – when they were reportedly deliberately hit by a car.
  • Police officers then shot dead five suspects, some of whom were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts.
  • Authorities say the attack is linked to the terrorist assault on Barcelona earlier on Thursday, when a man drove a van into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, killing 13 people and injuring 100 more.
  • The driver escaped the scene and a police manhunt for him continues.
  • Two suspects whom police believe to be linked to the Barcelona attack are in custody, although neither is the driver. One is Driss Oukabir, originally named as the suspect, although he is reported to have told police that his identity documents were stolen before they were used to rent the van.
  • Officials are also linking the two attacks to an earlier explosion that destroyed a house in Alcanar, killing one person and wounding at least one more. Police now say they believe explosives were being prepared at the property.
  • Alcanar is around 200km (124 miles) from Barcelona and 90km (56 miles) from Cambrils.
  • A second van that was believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle for the Barcelona attacker was found abandoned in Vic, 80km away.
  • Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack in Las Ramblas, but this could not be verified.

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Barcelona and Cambrils attackers planned bigger atrocity, say police – live updates | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).