AT least 13 people have died and dozens of people have been injured, according to a local radio report, after being hit by a van in the centre of Barcelona in the popular and very busy Las Ramblas shopping area of the city.
EMERGENCY INFORMATION NUMBER FOR RELATIVES OF VICTIMS: +34 900 400 012
The incident, which is now being described by police as ‘terror related’ happened at the junction with Carrer Bonsuccés.
Witnesses have reported seeing the armed driver fleeing on foot.
Spanish police have published an image of the suspected driver of the van involved in the Barcelona attack is believed to be Driss Oukabir and was reportedly wearing a white T-shirt with blue stripes.
Graphic videos of the injured lying in the streer have already emerged on social media – but the RTN will NOT be showing them out of respect for the victims and their families.
The security forces have asked the public to avoid the Plaza Cataluña area.
Nearby Metro and RENFE train stations have also been closed.
Emergency services have also asked the public to try and avoid using their mobile phones so the networks are not overloaded.
La policía está desalojando la Rambla en Plaza Catalunya pic.twitter.com/IJEWZbDce1
— Jordi Perez Colome (@jordipc) August 17, 2017
There is now a report of an hostage incident in a bar involving two armed men and another reporting of a gunshot in a nearby market. Police are advising people to stay indoors.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has tweeted:
En contacto con todas las administraciones. Prioridad: atender heridos en Las Ramblas y facilitar la labor de las Fuerzas de Seguridad. MR
— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) August 17, 2017
While Barcelona football club added:
Deeply saddened by the attack on our city. All our thoughts are with the victims, their families and with the people of Barcelona.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 17, 2017