At least one terrorist rammed a van into a crowd of people Thursday evening as they were crossing a busy intersection in a top tourist location in Barcelona, Spain.
The attack took place in the popular Las Rambla pedestrian street in Barcelona, where stalls and shops catch the eye and hold the attention of any shopper within visible distance.
At least 13 people were killed and 100 others were injured, figures that were confirmed by Catalonia’s Interior Minister Joaquim Forn. Two arrests were made and a third suspect was killed in a shootout after trying to ram police with his car at a roadblock set up three kilometers from the scene of the initial attack.
A second van linked to the attack, assumed to have been used as a getaway car, was found in the small town of Vic.
Earlier reports of a hostage situation were subsequently debunked.
Spanish National Police released a photo of a man alleged to have rented the van used in the ramming attack, identified as Driss Oukabir. It is not clear, however, whether he is the same individual who was arrested by police. Oukabir was born in Morocco but holds Spanish citizenship, according to local media.
Facebook activated its ‘Safetycheck’ for users who are in Barcelona, so they can inform family and friends that they are safe. More than a thousand users so far have also used the service to offer help to the victims, according to a user on Twitter, who said there were offers ranging from water to shelter and translation as well.
The U.S. Consulate has also advised American citizens to notify family and/or friends of their whereabouts, and to avoid the area.
Bodies seen in Twitter videos were strewn across the promenade, several of them bleeding on to the pavement. Barcelona police were seen grimly stalking the terrorists down the main thoroughfare, their assault rifles gripped and clearly ready to fire.
TERROR IN SPAIN – URGENT: Hostage situation. Reports that 2 Muslim terrorists are taking hostages at a restaurant near Las Ramblas pic.twitter.com/m81OcIY8bs
— Behind The News (@Behind__News) August 17, 2017
The driver of the van who carried out the attack managed to escape, officials said.