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Barcelona terror attack: Two arrested, at least 13 dead and 80 injured

A white van drove into crowds on the pedestrianised Las Ramblas area of Barcelona this afternoon.

Updated 8.35pm

Spain Barcelona Pedestrians Hit A police officer gestures on a closed street in Barcelona. Source: Manu Fernandez via PA Images

SPANISH AUTHORITIES HAVE confirmed that 13 people have died and 80 have been injured after a van rammed into crowds in Barcelona, in what police are treating as a terrorist attack.

The latest death toll was confirmed in a press conference this evening.

AFP is reporting that regional police say two men have been arrested in connection with the attack.

“We arrested a man and we are treating this as a terrorist attack,” police in the Spanish region of Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, tweeted. They added that no one was holed up in any bar of central Barcelona, denying what a police source had earlier said.

A police union said that one of the suspects has been identified as Driss Oukabir.

An IS propaganda outlet claimed its ‘soldiers’ carried out the attack, but the group has previously claimed responsibility for attacks it did not carry out.

The white van drove down a busy shopping street called Las Ramblas at around 4pm this afternoon, hitting a number of pedestrians.

Catalan police advised people on Twitter to ”follow official sources”.

This evening, police confirmed that a driver knocked down two police officers at a police stop in Barcelona.

The Spanish royals condemned the attack, saying “they won’t terrorise us”.

https://www.facebook.com/mossoscat/photos/a.10152967854489437.1073741862.282039604436/10155576816154437/?type=3

The government’s ‘Cabinet of crisis’ has been activated following the incident.

Tweet by @EmergènciesCatalunya Source: EmergènciesCatalunya/Twitter

Streets in the surrounding areas have been closed and some railway services have been halted.

A pedestrian who was in the area at the time told Sky News that he heard a loud crash and people began shouting “run”.

Las Ramblas is a popular pedestrianised shopping street lined with trees, and is one of Barcelona’s best-known tourist attractions.

Emergency services are advising people to use social media to inform their families that they’re ok, “to avoid the collapse of phone lines”.

Spanish police have asked people not to share pictures of those injured in the collision out of respect for the victims and their families.

Condemnation

President Michael D Higgins has released a statement regarding today’s incident, saying:

president barcelona Source: TheJournal.ie

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has spoken of his “abhorrence” over what occurred this afternoon:

EU president Donald Tusk said “All of Europe stands with Barcelona. Our thoughts are with the victims and all affected by this cowardly attack on innocents.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the UK “stand with Spain against terror”.

The office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “revolting attack”.

“We are thinking with profound sadness of the victims of the revolting attack in Barcelona — with solidarity and friendship alongside the Spanish people,” tweeted spokesman Steffen Seibert.

United States President Donald Trump said that the US condemned the attack, tweeting:

Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson offered help to Spain in the wake of the attack: “Terrorists around the world should know – the United States and our allies are resolved to find you and bring you to justice.”

The football team FC Barcelona has also shared its condolences to those affected by the attack:

Irish citizens

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland warned its citizens in Barcelona to avoid the Las Ramblas area “following serious incident there”.

“Irish citizens in the vicinity of the incident are advised to follow the advice of local authorities.

Anyone with concerns for the safety of loved ones in Barcelona can contact the Consular Assistance team in the department on 01 408 2000 or the Irish Embassy in Madrid on +34 914364093.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: ”I am appalled by the incident in Barcelona this afternoon. On behalf of the Irish government, I wish to convey our condolences and solidarity with the people of Spain at this time.”

- Additional reporting from - © AFP, 2017 and Aoife Barry.

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