At least 13 people have died and at least 100 were injured after a van ploughed into crowds in Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas tourist area, police and local officials say.
Digi 24 reported that a Romanian is among the injured. He is a 35-year-old man who was visiting Barcelona as tourist. The man has suffered multiple fractures.
The vehicle sped along the pedestrian area, mowing down people and sending others fleeing for cover. Police are treating the incident as terrorism, the BBC reports.
Later they said a man had been arrested in connection with the attack. Witnesses said the van had deliberately targeted people before stopping.
Spanish media reported the attacker is Driss Oukabir, a 28-year-old man of Moroccan origin who lived in Ripoll, 80km away from Barcelona. Facebook closed his page soon after the Police had revealed his identity, as it had been flooded with reports and injuries. According to Oukabir’s Facebook profile, he was born in Marseilles, France, El Pais reports.
Spanish media reports said the driver of the vehicle – a white Fiat that had been rented in the city – had fled on foot.
But police denied earlier reports of two suspected attackers being holed up in a bar in the city centre.
Local authorities in the small town of Vic in Catalonia say police have cordoned off the area and are inspecting another van amid suggestions it may have been used as a getaway vehicle.
The attack happened at the height of the season in one of Europe’s top tourist destinations.
Vehicles have been used to ram into crowds in a series of attacks across Europe since July last year.
The United States has offered its assistance to Spain. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said consular assistance was being provided to Americans in the city, and urged US nationals to check in with their families.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with the victims, adding that “the UK stands with Spain against terror”.
FM Melescanu condemns the terrorist attack
Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu has categorically condemned the terrorist attack in Barcelona and has reiterated Romania’s firm commitment to fight terrorism. FM Melescanu has conveyed condolences to the victims’ families and compassion to all affected by the tragic incident, expressing solidarity with the Spanish people, a Foreign Ministry (MAE) release reds.
A cell crisis has been activated within the ministry to further check if Romanian citizens are among the victims.
The Romanian Consul General in Barcelona is closely following the event in the La Rambla area. “For the time being there are no clues about Romanian citizens,” the MAE release reads.
Romanian citizens can call for consular assistance the following telephone numbers: +34 934 181 535; +34 934 344 223.
Romanian President, PM convey regrets, deliver solidarity messages
President Klaus Iohannis posted a solidarity message with Spain after the Barcelona attack.
“I strongly condemn the terror attack in Barcelona. Condolences to the victims’ families. Solidarity with Spain,” Iohannis posted on Twitter.
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has also sent a condolence message to King Felipe VI of Spain following terrorist attacks in Spain on Thursday, underlining that the move to set up an international court against terrorism must be pursued with more determination.
“In these moments of sadness, I want to express the full solidarity of Romania and the Romanian people with the Kingdom of Spain and its entire people. This despicable act shows that the joint approach of Romania and Spain to establish an international court against terrorism must be followed with even more determination,” reads Iohannis’ message delivered by the Presidential Administration.
The head of state also conveys sincere condolences to the families of the victims and hopes for speedy recovery of the injured.
In his turn, PM Mihai Tudose voiced his regret for the tragedy in Barcelona, saying the Romanian authorities are monitoring the situation very closely the evolution of the situation.
“In these tough moments, we convey regret for the tragedy in Barcelona and we are very closely monitoring the evolution of the situation. A crisis cell has been set up at Romania’s Embassy in Madrid, while the Consulate in Barcelona is in permanent contact with the local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are next to those in Barcelona and their families!,” PM Tudose posted on Facebook.