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People lay flowers and candlelights in Las Ramblas avenue a day after the deadly van attack in Barcelona. Utrecht Robin/ABACAPRESS.COM

Spain terror attacks: A timeline of events

Police are investigating a Spanish-based terror cell.

THREE SEPARATE INCIDENTS in Alcanar, Barcelona and Cambrils are being linked by Spanish police to a terror cell operating on behalf of the so-called Islamic State in Europe.

In the space of two days, at least 14 people died in Barcelona and over 100 have been injured.

Five attackers were shot dead in Cambrils and a woman died in a house explosion a day earlier.

Here’s what has happened:

  • On Wednesday night, a huge explosion ripped through a house in the Alcanar area of Spain – 175km south of Barcelona – killing one person and injuring six. Police initially dismissed it as a gas explosion. However, they now believe it to have a connection to the Barcelona and Cambrils incidents after police discovered over 20 canisters of butane gas at the home – officers believe they were to be used in an attack.
  • At 3.50pm yesterday, a vehicle ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians on the famous Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona - killing at least 13 people. A number of people are in a serious condition in hospitals across the city. The driver of the man escaped on foot and is now on the run.
  • Restaurants and bars across the iconic boulevard pulled down their shutters protecting those who were inside from potential injury. An Irish family of four was also caught up in the violence. A five-year-old boy suffered a broken leg in the incident but is expected to make a full recovery.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility shortly after the Las Ramblas incident.

Terror Attack Aftermath - Barcelona People lay flowers and candlelights in Las Ramblas avenue a day after a deadly van attack in Barcelona. Utrecht Robin / ABACAPRESS.COM Utrecht Robin / ABACAPRESS.COM / ABACAPRESS.COM

  • Two men were arrested in the initial aftermath.
  • World leaders described the attacks as “revolting” and Leo Varadkar labelled the terror as abhorrent and offered Irish “solidarity” to Spain.
  • Hotels close to Las Ramblas welcomed tourists, offering them shelter and blankets, while ordinary Catalan locals opened up their homes to help those caught up in the chaos. Soon after the attack, the hashtag #BedinBarcelona began trending in the area with details of available places to stay for people who needed them. Others donated blood or offered free lifts to people.
  • A minute’s silence will be observed at midday today.

Spain Barcelona Pedestrians Hit Armed police officers patrol a street in Las Ramblas. AP / PA Images AP / PA Images / PA Images

  • Eight hours later in Cambrils – 120km from Barcelona, an Audi A3 car rammed into pedestrians, injuring six civilians and a police officer. The terrorists, wearing fake suicide vests, were involved in a gunfight with police. All five were killed by police in the shootout.
  • A third man was arrested in relation to the Barcelona attack hours after the Cambrils incident. There is currently one man on the run. He is understood to be the driver of the van in Barcelona.

Spain Attacks Police officers walk near an overturned car onto a platform at the spot where terrorists were intercepted by police in Cambrils. AP / PA Images AP / PA Images / PA Images

  • 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 or Cambrils can contact the consular assistance team in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 01-4082000 or the Irish Embassy in Madrid on +34 914364093.

Read: Spanish police stop second attack as five suspects shot dead in coastal town >

Read: Father and son injured as Irish family of four caught up in Barcelona terror attack >

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