Events remembering Catalonia jihadist attacks underway

Official floral tribute takes place on La Rambla after members of the public spontaneously leave objects on the boulevard

Some relatives of victims of the August 17, 2017 terror attacks in Catalonia leaving flowers one year on on La Rambla (by Pere Francesch)
Some relatives of victims of the August 17, 2017 terror attacks in Catalonia leaving flowers one year on on La Rambla (by Pere Francesch) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 17, 2018 10:40 AM

Exactly one year after the terror attacks that struck Barcelona and Catalonia, a series of remembrance events began around the country on Thursday evening and Friday morning.

A floral tribute by relatives of the victims and on behalf of the local, Catalan and Spanish authorities took place at 10am at Pla de l'Os on La Rambla. This is the spot where Younes Abouyaaqoub abandoned the van he used to run over dozens of people on the boulevard a year ago.

Some twenty relatives left some flowers preceding the politicians, led by the Catalan president, Quim Torra; Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau; and the Spanish government delegate in Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera.

On Thursday, some members of the public had already begun leaving flowers and candles at Pla de l'Os, recognizable for its colourful mosaic by Catalan artist Joan Miró. This is also the spot where people spontaneously left more than 12,000 objects to remember the victims in the hours and days after the attacks.

Also on Thursday, an association representing Catalan terror victims held an event to pay tribute to the victims of La Rambla attack. They decided to organize their own tribute after they complained that the Barcelona city council did not include them in the official remembrance events.

Ripoll and Alcanar

Meanwhile, Ripoll and Alcanar, both towns involved with the jihadist incidents surrounding the attacks, also held some events on Thursday evening.

Ripoll is the town where most of the alleged terrorist cell members lived, and where the supposed mastermind of the attacks, Abdelbaki es-Satty, worked as an imam. A manifesto read out alongside a series of activities, workshops and musical performances claimed that citizens will not allow "another youngster to be fooled" into perpetrating such attacks.

On the eve of the attacks, a house in Alcanar, in southern Catalonia, blew up in what appeared to be an accident. Yet, hours after the Barcelona attack, the police linked both incidents. It was discovered that the house was being used to prepare the attacks and that the accidental explosion meant an even deadlier strike had been avoided, with the terrorists forced to improvise a backup plan.

The event in Alcanar paid tribute not only to the victims, but also to the emergency services and the civil society.