Urged to avoid attack area

18 August 2017, 12:20 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Illustrative image of a housing construction site in Tel Aviv

Illustrative image of a housing construction site in Tel Aviv

Authorities said a van mounted a pavement and struck several people in a "massive crash" in the area of the city that is popular with tourists.

Spanish media report two people have been killed. Carles Puigdemont also said 80 people have been hospitalized, 15 seriously.

The Catalan regional police force Mossos d'Esquadra informed of the incident, which took place in the tourist area of the Ramblas, close to Plaza de Catalunya in the heart of the city at around 17:00 local time.

An eyewitness who spoke with local police said the situation was "very tense" and all surrounding shops are being evacuated.

The area around the incident was cordoned off, with several ambulances and police vehicles on the scene, an AFP correspondent said.

According to a witness who spoke to Sky News, he heard a "crashing noise" followed by people screaming.

The terrifying scenes are similar to the ones seen in Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm in recent months.

There were also reports that detectives believe two vans were used, one for the attack and a second as a getaway vehicle.

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The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, earlier tweeted: "My thoughts are with the victims of this barbaric terrorist attack in the great city of Barcelona and with their fearless emergency services".

Video shows the group of armed officers prowling the street with their guns ready as they hunt for the driver of the van involved in the attack in Las Ramblas.

Authorities are asking people not to go near the area.

Both the Taoiseach and President have expressed solidarity with the people of Barcelona & Spain. Trump tells Spain: "Be tough & strong, we love you!"

Trump's wife, first lady Melania Trump, tweeted her "thoughts and prayers" to Barcelona before the president.

Newspaper La Vanguardia reported a suspected attacker was killed in a shootout with police on the outskirts of the city.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Twenty people have been confirmed injured but the number is expected to rise.



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