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CORRECTION BACKGROUND What we know and don't know about the Spanish terrorist attacks

Europe
20.08.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Madrid (dpa) - At least 14 people have died in two terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, a seaside resort about 100 kilometres south of the Catalan capital. Here a summary of the state of play on the investigations.

THE EXPLOSION IN ALCANAR:

Late on Wednesday, an explosion destroys a building in Alcanar, a town about 200 kilometres south of Barcelona, killing at least two people and injuring six. Catalan Police later establish that the house was being used to fabricate bombs.

Police says more than 100 gas canisters were found among the rubble, suggesting that terrorists had been preparing large-scale strikes on "one or various places in Barcelona." The explosion forced them to proceed "in a more rudimentary way" than originally foreseen.

THE ATTACKS:

Shortly before 5 pm (1500 GMT) on Thursday, a white Fiat van plunges at high speed over the pedestrianized area of the Las Ramblas boulevard, a tourist hotspot in the centre of Barcelona. Thirteen people are killed and 120 are injured.

At around 1:30 am Friday, an Audi A3 rams into people on the promenade of Cambrils, injuring six people and killing one woman. Five people equipped with fake explosive belts exit the car and begin attacking people with knives. They are shot dead by police.

THE ARRESTS:

Four people aged between 21 and 34 are arrested between Thursday and Friday in Ripoll, about 100 kilometres north of Barcelona, and Alcanar. Three are of Moroccan nationality, one is from Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco.

According to El Pais, the Moroccans are: Driss Oubakir, from Ripoll; Sahal el Karib, from Ripoll; Mohamed Aallaa, owner of the Audi car, from Ripoll. And the Melilla suspect is Mohamed Houli Chemlai, who was badly injured in the Alcanar explosion.

THE DEAD:

The Cambrils attackers shot dead by police are identified as: Moussa Oukabir, brother of the arrested Driss; Said Aalaa, brother of the arrested Mohamed; siblings Mohamed and Omar Hychami; and Houssaine Abouyaaqoub.

THE MISSING:

Youssef Aallaa, another brother of the arrested Mohamed; Abdelbaki Es Satty, an Imam from Ripoll who is the suspected leader of the terrorist cell; and Younes Aboyaaqoub, the presumed author of the Las Ramblas attack.

Police are "almost certainly sure" that Youssef Aalaa and Es Satty died in the Alcanar explosion, while Aboyaaqoub is the only suspect who is still at large. In total, the terrorist cell had 12 members: four arrested, seven dead, and one fugitive.

TERRORIST CELL "NEUTRALIZED:"

The Catalan regional interior minister Joaquim Forn, said Sunday that "the capacity to strike of the terrorist cell has been neutralized" following the arrests and shootings of the suspects, even if one person is still a fugitive.

Authorities also stress that none of the 12 suspects had a history of terrorism-related crimes.

THE MYSTERY CAR:

On Thursday, a Ford Focus hatchback ran a police road block in Barcelona‘s Diagonal avenue after the Las Ramblas attack, injuring a police officer. The car was later found in Sant Just Desvern, in the western outskirts of the city, with a man‘s body in the rear seat.

The suspicion is that the Las Ramblas killer hijacked the Ford, stabbed to death its driver, and used it as a getaway vehicle. "We cannot yet say that the killer of Diagonal was a terrorist," the head of the Catalan police, Josep Lluis Trapero, said Sunday.

 

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