In the past 24 hours terrorists have struck twice in Spain
In the past 24 hours terrorists have struck twice in Spain. Shortly before 5 p.m. local time Thursday a white van plowed into pedestrians on the Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona, killing 13, then in the early hours of Friday morning another car drove into a group of people on the Spanish coast in Cambrils, killing one.
Here is a timeline of how events unfolded, with hours given in local time:
4:50 p.m. A white van drives into crowds on the Las Ramblas, a famous 1.2km boulevard in Barcelona popular for its market stalls. The driver is said to have zigzagged through the crowd at a high-speed, deliberately targeting pedestrians, the BBC reported.
5:09 p.m. Police in Barcelona tweeted to say that there was a serious incident in the central square of Plaza Catalunya, asking people to stay away from the area.
5:20 p.m. Witness reports start coming in from the scene. Steven Turner, who works in the area, told the BBC that he saw three or four people laying in the ground and his colleagues saw a van ramming into people.”There are lots of ambulances and armed police with assault rifles around now.”
6:08 p.m. The police in Barcelona tweet to say that they were searching for the driver of the van. “Don’t get close to the affected area,” they urged.
6.50 p.m. Police sent another tweet to confirm that the incident was a terrorist attack.
8 p.m. Facebook activates its safety check feature to let people in the area tell their friends and family they are safe.
8:18 p.m. Spanish officials confirm that 13 people have been killed in the attack and say that at least 50 people have been injured.
8:19 p.m. Police announce that they have arrested one man in connection to the attack. At the same time they dismiss rumours that a group of attackers had taken hostages in a bar.
9:27 p.m. Catalonia’s regional official confirms at a press conference that two people had been arrested in connection with the attack, adding that 80 people had been sent to hospital. On Twitter, police also say that a driver ran into two police at a check-point earlier on Thursday.
9:30 p.m. Islamic State claim responsibility for the attack through their news agency, Amaq.
11:16 p.m. Police announce the attack in Las Ramblas may be connected to an explosion in a house in Alcanar, about 126km south of Barcelona, on Wednesday evening. The blast killed one person and injured seven more. According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, bottles of propane and butane were found at the site.
1:03 a.m. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says the attack was terrorism. He told a press conference: “Today the fight against terrorism is the principal priority for free and open societies like ours. It is a global threat and the response has to be global.”
1:15 a.m. Police tell people in the town of Cambrils to stay inside because a police operation is taking place, adding that it is related to a “possible terror attack.”
1:57 a.m. Police confirm that the incident was terror related and that the suspects have been shot.
2:09 a.m. Spanish media report that four attackers have been shot dead by police in Cambrils after a van attempted to drive at pedestrians. Cadena Ser added that one attacked may still be alive.
2:56 a.m. Police say that the situation in Cambrils is under control but urge people to exercise caution.
2:59 a.m. Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that a policeman was injured in Cambril, and that the attackers shot dead appeared to be wearing explosives. La Vanguardia newspaper reports that the men were armed with guns.
3:07 a.m. Police confirm that the attack in Barcelona, the attack in Cambrils and the explosion in Alcanar are linked.
3:45 a.m. Catalonian emergency services confirm that six civilians and a police officer were injured in the Cambrils attack. One in a serious condition.
3:52 a.m. Spanish civil protection agency announces that the Barcelona injured and dead were from at least 24 different countries, including France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, Belgium, Australia, Hungary, Peru, Romania, Ireland, Greece, Cuba, Macedonia, China, Italy and Algeria.
9:29 a.m. The explosive belts worn by the attackers in Cambrils were fake, Reuters report.
10:37 a.m. Spanish police say their search for the driver is focusing on 17-year-old Moussa Oukabir, reportedly the brother of Driss Oukabir, whose documents were used to rent the van.
10:51 a.m. The first victims of the attacks are named. 57-year-old Francisco López Rodríguez was from Granada, his wife is seriously injured and her niece and youngest son were reportedly also killed.
12.30 p.m. Police say a woman caught up in the Cambrils attack has succumbed to her injuries, increasing the total fatalities to 14.
1.42 p.m. Police confirm that they have arrested a fourth person in relation to the two attacks.
3.00 p.m. Police release a new statement to say that none of the arrested people had a criminal history relating to terrorism. The four that have been arrested include one Moroccan and one Spanish national. The youngest was 21, and the others are 27, 28 and 34.
3.18 p.m. The attackers in Cambrils had an axe and knives in their car, Spanish police report. They struck one man in the face before being shot.
5.15 p.m. Four of the victims have so far been identified. Read more about them here.