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Pakistanis, Filipinos among victims of Barcelona van terror attacks

It was the deadliest attack in Spain since March 2004, when militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,800.

  • Injured are helped by responders as a tour bus passes by after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historicImage Credit: AP
  • Image Credit: Twitter
  • Officers investigate at the scene where police had killed four attackers in Cambrils, south of Barcelona, in tImage Credit: REUTERS
  • Police evacuate people after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Image Credit: REUTERS
  • People wait to enter the area after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central BarcImage Credit: REUTERS
  • Image Credit: AFP

Barcelona: Victims of the deadly van attacks in Spain on Thursday and early Friday included citizens of 24 nations, including the Philippines and Pakistan, Spanish authorities said Friday.

The injured and dead came from at least 20 countries, ranging from France and Germany to Pakistan and the Philippines, the Catalan government said on Friday.

People from Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong had also been confirmed among the injured in the Barcelona attack. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday that 26 of the victims are French citizens, at least 11 of whom are in a serious condition.

The German Foreign Ministry spokesperson said 13 German citizens were among those injured when a suspected militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona on Thursday.

Martin Schaefer told reporters that some of the Germans had been injured very seriously. He said he could neither confirm nor rule out at this point that Germans were among the dead. 

It was the deadliest attack in Spain since March 2004, when militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,800.

The UAE and other Arab countries immediately condemned the attacks, vowed to continue the fight against violence and "scourge" of extremism, which poses a threat to the security and stability of the world.

Before the van ploughed into the tree-lined walkway of Las Ramblas, one person was killed in an explosion in a house in a separate town southwest of Barcelona, police said. Residents there were preparing explosives, a police source added.

Police said they had arrested two men, a Moroccan and a man from Spain's north African enclave of Melilla, though neither was the van driver. They added that the situation in Cambrils was under control.

It was still not clear how many people had been involved in the van attack and other incidents on Thursday.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop says an Australian woman is hospitalised in serious but stable condition. She did not have details of the conditions of two men who were injured.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency says a mother and daughter from Taiwan were slightly injured.

The Chinese consulate in Barcelona posted on its website that a tourist from Hong Kong was slightly injured and that it had no other reports of Chinese citizens being hurt.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is condemning the terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, and extending his condolences to the families of those killed.

His spokesman, Farhan Haq, said the secretary-general “wishes a speedy recovery to those injured and hopes that those responsible for this heinous violence will be swiftly brought to justice.”

“The United Nations stands in solidarity with the Government of Spain in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism,” the statement said.

Mourning

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

Rajoy traveled to Barcelona following the van attack that killed 13 people and injured up to 100. He says the victims and their family and friends “are in this moment our main priority.”

The capital of Spain’s Catalonia region was “today hit by jihad terrorism like other cities have been throughout the world.”

The prime minister says the residents of Paris, Nice, Brussels, Berlin and London “have experienced the same pain and uncertainty that those of Barcelona suffer today.”

For Spain, Thursday’s bloodshed was the country’s deadliest attack since 2004, when al-Qaida-inspired bombers killed 192 people in coordinated assaults on Madrid’s commuter trains.

Rajoy declared three days of mourning across Spain.

Claim

Daesh claimed the attacks. Its Amaq news agency said: "The perpetrators of the Barcelona attack are soldiers of the Daesh (Islamic State) and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states” — a reference to a US-led coalition against the militant group.

Spain has several hundred soldiers in Iraq providing training to local forces in the fight against Daesh, but they are not involved in ground operations.

The Daesh claim could not immediately be verified. If the involvement of militants is confirmed, it would be the latest in a string of attacks in the past 13 months in which they have used vehicles to bring carnage to the streets of European cities.

That modus operandi — crude, deadly and very hard to prevent — has killed well over 100 people in Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm.

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