At Least 12 Dead, 80 Hurt in Barcelona Terror Attack [UPDATED]
Warning: Some graphic imagery.
UPDATE 4:15 P.M. ET: ISIS’s news agency, Amaq, has issued a statement acknowledging the terrorist group’s role in today’s incident: “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.”
People at the scene of the attack have given further descriptions of what exactly occurred. From Reuters: “Witnesses said the white van zigzagged at high speed down Las Ramblas, a busy avenue thronged with tourists, knocking down pedestrians and leaving bodies strewn across the ground.”
President Trump issued a statement via Twitter in support of Spain.
UPDATE 2:30 P.M. ET: Barcelona police have arrested one man in connection with the vehicle-ramming attack earlier today. Authorities have also confirmed 12 fatalities and more than 80 wounded. Many of those injuries are severe, meaning the death toll is likely to continue rising.
Spanish officials have also confirmed that it was a terror attack:
Terrorism attack confirmed in #Barcelona
— Mossos (@mossos) August 17, 2017
Original post begins here:
A white van (below) rammed into a group of people in a popular tourist area in Barcelona, Spain, injuring many and killing at least one person.
The incident occurred in the Las Ramblas neighborhood, a heavily trafficked spot full of outdoor cafes and pedestrians. Witnesses at the scene describe the act as clearly intentional, and as having heard multiple gunshots afterward.
A vehicle plowing into a crowd of people has become an unfortunately common method of terrorism, particularly in major European cities over the past few years. Similar incidents have taken place in London; Stockholm, Sweden; Nice, France; Paris; and Berlin.
No terrorist groups have claimed responsibility yet, and authorities have not officially confirmed that that is what happened in Barcelona. But it does bear all the markings of an ISIS-inspired attack.
This post will be updated as further information comes in.