At least 13 dead and 80 injured in Barcelona terrorist attack

Two people have been arrested in connection with the incident

People running after possible terrorist attack in Barcelona (by Pere Francesc)
People running after possible terrorist attack in Barcelona (by Pere Francesc) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 17, 2017 08:47 PM

At least 13 people are dead and 80 have been injured after a van crashed into the crowds in la Rambla, in the city center of Barcelona, in what police described as a terrorist attack. The Catalan government confirmed the victims toll in a press conference. A second van linked to the attack has been found in the town of Vic, in central Catalonia. The vehicle may have been used by some of the terrorists to flee the scene of the attack.

Police denied earlier reports of a man holding hostages in the center of Barcelona. "There is no one entrenched itself in any bar", the Catalan police, Mossos d'Esquadra, tweeted. Police have arrested two men in relation to the attacks. 

Authorities have recommend to people in the city of Barcelona to stay indoors and avoid all displacements that are not strictly necessary. 

The attack, in a very tourist area in the heart of Barcelona, happened at around 5 pm. A vehicle, a white Fiat van, drove at a high speed along the Rambla pedestrian area, which is usually very crowded. The van plowed through crowds and caused scenes of chaos and panic. People fled the scene for cover and many seek protection in the nearby shops. 

The terrorist group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, as reported by its news agency, Amaq. "The perpetrators of the Barcelona attack are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states," said Amaq.

Isis terrorists have committed similar van attacks in several European cities in the last year, including Nice, London, Stockholm, Paris and Berlin.