Twin terror attacks rock Spain, 13 dead

Two terror attacks have struck eastern Spain, leaving at least 13 people dead and more than 100 people injured.

Authorities haven’t confirmed whether the two attacks are linked.

What we know so far from the Barcelona attack:

  • At least 13 people have been killed after a van drove through crowds on Las Ramblas in Barcelona.
  • Driver of the van escaped on foot, still on the run.
  • More than 100 people have been injured.
  • One Australian is in a serious condition in hospital, no Kiwis injured.
  • Two people have been arrested in relation to the attack.

What we know so far from the Cambrils attack:

  • Five attackers were shot dead by police.
  • Media are reporting a vehicle ran over six people in the attack, leaving one person seriously injured and another in critical condition.
  • Authorities are urging locals to be patient and say the town is now "under control."

2:14pm The fifth alleged terrorist in the Cambrils attack has died as a result of their injuries, local police say.

2:10pm The identities of some of the victims from the Barcelona attack are slowly being revealed.

Authorities say the victims are from at least 18 countries from around the world including France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, Belgium, Australia, Hungary, Peru, Romania, Ireland, Greece, Cuba, Macedonia, China, Italy and Algeria.

Germany and the Netherlands have confirmed fatalities.

1:34pm Reports suggest that the four alleged terrorists in Cambrils may have been wearing explosive belts.

Authorities have warned locals "several controlled explosions" will take place and urge them not to be alarmed if they hear detonations.

1:28pm Authorities say a police officer was injured in the Cambrils police operation. In addition, six people were injured in the Cambrils attack, one person suffered serious injuries and another is in a critical condition.

1:24pm Officials are working on the "hypothesis" that the Barcelona attack, Cambrils attack and house explosion in Alcanar are all linked.

Barcelona, Terror
Paramedics and Red Cross have been comforting those near Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Photo credit: Getty

1:15pm Cambrils is now "under control" according to local police after the attack.

12:33pm Spanish media are reporting a vehicle ran over five people in the Cambrils attack leaving two people seriously injured.

Police responded by killing four suspected terrorists.

12:26pm Threat not over in Cambrils. Authorities are urging locals to be patient and remain indoors for their own safety.

Spain, Terror
Cities around Spain are now on high alert overnight. Photo credit: Getty

12:13pm Catalan police say they have killed the perpetrators of a terrorist attack in Cambrils, south of Barcelona in Spain.

The BBC has reported four attackers were shot dead.

It's not known if the Cambrils operation is linked to Thursday's deadly van attack in Barcelona.

11:55am Police have launched a counter-terror operation in the Spanish town of Cambrilis near Barcelona.

Authorities are urging locals to stay inside while the operation is on-going.

The driver of the van used in the Barcelona attack is still at large.

10:58am Cordons lifted at the scene on Las Ramblas.

10:50am Authorities believe the deadly explosion that destroyed a house in the town of Alcanar near Barcelona, was used for preparing an explosive device.

"It seems there was an accumulation of gas that generated the explosion," police chief Josep Lluis Trapero told media.

One person died and seven others were injured in the explosion that has been linked to the Barcelona attack.

10:09am Spanish authorities have confirmed the driver of the van at the centre of the Barcelona attack escaped on foot afterwards.

Senior police official Josep Lluis Trapero told media the driver clearly "intended to kill as many people as possible."

10:05am Australia’s foreign minister has confirmed to media that at least one Australian is in a serious but stable condition in hospital following the attacks.

Two other Australian nationals were caught up in the attack but have returned to their hotel rooms safely.

9:50am Police say the two men arrested are from Morocco and Melilla.

9:32am Authorities have confirmed the terror attack in Barcelona is linked to a deadly explosion outside the city the night before.

One person was killed and seven people injured in what police described as a "gas leak explosion" in a squatter house in Alcanar.

According to local media, gas bottles filled with propane and butane were found at the house.

9:25am Police say the two officers who were hit by a car in western Barcelona is not related to the terror attack. The driver was shot dead, according to local media.

9:05am Video emerges of police making arrest after the attack.

8:57am Local authorities now say more than 100 people have been injured.

8:47am Spanish football league La Liga will hold a minute silence before matches in "homage" to the victims.

8:39am Barcelona’s Mayor Ada Colau has announced a minute silence will be held in the Placa Catalunya, near the scene of the attack, at midday (local time) for the victims.

Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont has also announced three days of mourning for the region.

8:15am Terror suspect Driss Oukabir has handed himself in to police after seeing his photo in the media. According to reports, he explained his identification was stolen and that is why it was found inside the van used in the attack.

8:10am Forensic examinations are now underway at the scene at Las Ramblas.

Barcelona, Terror
Authorities are now investigating at the scene. Photo credit: Getty

8:00am A bomb squad is checking an area on the outskirts of Barcelona, near where the driver of a car which struck police officers, was located.

7:52am President of Catalonia says "terror will not defeat our society."

7:40am "Everyone started running" – tourists describe the mayhem.

7:37am Police confirm two officers have been run over in an attack at a check point in western Barcelona. Local media reports the driver of the car has been shot dead.

7:30am IS-linked Amaq News Agency reports the terror group is responsible for the Barcelona attack.

7:25am FC Barcelona tweets its support to victims.

7:20am Local authorities say a second person has been arrested and at least 80 people have now been hospitalised after the attack.  

7:10am Catalan police have released an image of the terror suspect, Driss Oukabir.

Driss Oukabir.
Driss Oukabir. Photo credit: Supplied

A van plowed into crowds in the Spanish city of Barcelona in what police are treating as a terrorist attack.

Police said they had arrested a man linked to the attack in the heart of the city, but did not identify him or describe his role. Earlier police were searching for the van's driver who, according to local media, fled the scene on foot.

A source familiar with the initial US government assessment said Thursday's incident appeared to be terrorism, and a White House spokeswoman said President Donald Trump was being kept abreast of the situation. He has since tweeted condemnation of the attack.

Media reports said the van zigzagged at speed down the famous Las Ramblas avenue, a magnet for tourists.

"I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that," eyewitness Tom Gueller told the BBC.

"It wasn't slowing down at all. It was just going straight through the middle of the crowds in the middle of the Ramblas."

The New Zealand Embassy in Madrid says it is is monitoring the situation closely. The embassy has had no requests for consular assistance. There are presently 257 Kiwis registered on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' safetravel.govt.nz website.

Witnesses saw 'cyclists go flying'

Mobile phone footage posted on Twitter showed several bodies strewn along the Ramblas, some motionless. Paramedics and bystanders bent over them, treating them and trying to comfort those still conscious.

Around them, the boulevard was deserted, covered in rubbish and abandoned objects including hats, bags and a pram.

"We saw a white van collide with people. We saw people going flying because of the collision, we also saw three cyclists go flying," Ellen Vercamm, on holiday in Barcelona, told El Pais newspaper.

El Pais said the driver of the vehicle fled on foot.

Emergency services said people should not go to the area around Barcelona's Placa Catalunya, one of the city's main squares at the top of the Ramblas, and requested the closure of nearby train and metro stations.

Witness Ethan Spibey told Britain's Sky News: "All of sudden it was real chaos. People just started running screaming, there were loud bangs. People just started running into shops, there was a kind of mini-stampede where we were, down one of the alleyways."

He said he had taken refuge with dozens of other people in a nearby church.

"They've locked the doors because I'm not sure whether the person who may have done it has actually been caught, so they've locked the doors and told people just to wait in here."

In recent weeks, threatening graffiti against tourists has appeared in Barcelona.

In one video released under the slogan "tourism kills neighbourhoods", several hooded individuals stopped a tourist bus in Barcelona, slashed the tyres and spray-painted the windscreen.

Reuters / Newshub.

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