Spanish Police Confirm Killing Younes Abouyaaqoub The Van Driver In The Barcelona Terror Attack

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Spanish police say they have shot and killed Younes Abouyaaqoub, the man identified as the driver in a deadly van attack in Barcelona last week.

Police shot Abouyaaqoub near Subirats, west of Barcelona, on Monday afternoon after being alerted to the presence of a suspicious man.

Authorities gave few immediate details of the incident, saying the suspect was wearing what seemed to be a suicide belt. A bomb disposal robot was dispatched to approach the man’s body after he was shot down, police said.

Abouyaaqoub had been the focus of an extensive international manhunt after authorities said he used a van to mow down pedestrians in Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas promenade on Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring more than 120 others.

Police also said he stabbed a driver to death and hijacked his car on Thursday night in his getaway.

“The Catalan police have shot dead Younes Abouyaaqoub, driver of the van and direct perpetrator of the attack in Barcelona on Thursday causing the death of 14 people,” Carles Puigdemont, president of the Catalonia region, told reporters on Monday.

International probe still open

Al Jazeera’s Sonia Gallego, reporting from Barcelona, said that a female resident of Subirats had tipped off police, after spotting a man who was acting suspiciously.

As they approached the man in question, he reportedly lifted his shirt to show an explosive belt, prompting police to shoot him.

Earlier on Monday, authorities had said they now had evidence that Abouyaaqoub, 22, drove the van that ploughed down the Las Ramblas promenade, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

“He was the only person who was still at large and had been a prime person of suspect,” Al Jazeera’s Gallego said.

The other suspects in a cell of 12 people thought to be behind the attack have been arrested, shot by police or killed in an explosion at a house in Catalonia a day before Thursday’s van attack.

The attack in Barcelona was linked to another outburst of violence hours later in the resort down of Cambrils, further down the Mediterranean coastline from Barcelona.

A car crashed into passers-by there, and attackers reportedly got out to tried and stab people. Five suspects were shot dead, while a Spanish woman died in the attack, which was also claimed by ISIL.

Imam’s death confirmed

Following the confirmation of Abouyaaqoub’s death, Spanish police said that the operation into the Barcelona cell remained open, including at international level.

“Today the 12 names that we have always referred to are in the hands of the justice system, or sadly, as a result of their actions, have been killed,” Josep Lluis Trapero, Catalan police chief, told reporters, on Monday.

“But we have said that we were opening up the range of relations in the international field, and this will develop in the coming weeks,” he said, adding that the operation was not closed.

Trapero also confirmed that the imam believed to have been the ringleader of the cell had been killed in an accidental explosion at the suspects’ bomb factory.

Asked whether Abdelbaki Es Satty had died in the blast on Wednesday that precipitated the attacks, Trapero said: “It is confirmed,” adding “the remains of the imam were there”, in the house in Alcanar that exploded.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/man-shot-search-barcelona-van-attack-suspect-170821144103455.html

 

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BREAKING NEWS – Nice Terror Attack On The Promenade Des Anglais, Has Claimed 84 Lives And Left 18 In Critical Condition

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At least 84 people have been killed and dozens injured after a truck careered along Nice’s packed waterfront, ploughing into hundreds of people.

Youtube Video: Published on Jul 14, 2016 Nice attack: French President François Hollande addresses nation on terror attack

French President Francois Hollande has said several children are among the dead after what he described as a monstrous “terrorist” act.

Video footage shows police trying to stop the lorry before it picks up speed, slamming into revellers gathered along the city’s famous waterside Promenade des Anglais for a Bastille Day fireworks display.

The driver zig-zagged along the promenade for some two kilometres (1.3 miles), mowing people down along the way, according to Nice prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre.

Several officials say he then emerged from the vehicle and started shooting, sending hundreds of panic-stricken men, women and children running in terror.

“We almost died. It was like hallucinating… (the lorry) zig-zagged,” an eyewitness told i-Tele.

“You had no idea where it was going. My wife… a metre away … she was dead.

“The lorry ripped through everything. Poles, trees, we have never seen anything like it in our lives. Some people were hanging on the door trying to stop it.”

 

Nice-Matin journalist Damien Allemand, who was at the waterside, said the fireworks display had finished and the crowd had got up to leave when they heard a noise and cries.

“A fraction of a second later, an enormous white truck came along at a crazy speed, turning the wheel to mow down the maximum number of people,” he said.

“I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries that I will never forget.”

Graphic footage from the scene shows an endless succession of bodies left strewn along the city’s landmark promenade in the lorry’s wake.

Screams and cries can be heard as dazed witnesses lean over the bodies, looking for survivors.

Items of clothing and shoes are scattered across the blood-stained pavement.

French officials say the driver was shot dead by police at the scene, with images showing the windscreen of the 25-tonne lorry riddled with bullet holes.

Several weapons, guns and grenades were found inside the vehicle, Christian Estrosi, president of the region, has confirmed.

There has been no claim of responsibility, however, a police source has identified the attacker as a 31-year-old Franco-Tunisian born in Tunisia.

Though unconfirmed, this tallies with the profile of a man whose identity papers were reportedly discovered inside the vehicle. A police source quoted by news agency AFP said the papers belonged to a resident of Nice.

“I express in the name of the nation, our tears, solidarity, with the victims and the families,” Mr Hollande said.

He pledged to strengthen France’s role in Syria and Iraq and extended the nation’s state of emergency – imposed after November’s attacks in Paris – for a further three months.

At least 18 people remain in a critical condition, with hospitals in the area appealing for blood.

The Hotel Negresco has been turned into a makeshift hospital Pic: @AlbanMikoczy

Laurence Marie, who works at Lenval paediatric hospital, has said “many” children are undergoing serious operations there.

Nice’s famous luxury Negresco hotel, meanwhile, has been turned into a makeshift ward, with dozens of frightened and injured victims gathered in the marble lobby.

The hashtag #RecherchesNice has been started for people still looking for loved ones.

 

This is the worst disaster in the history of Nice as more than 70 people have already lost their lives, killed by the driver as he fired at the crowds ahead of him,” Mr Estrosi said in a statement.

“We are terrified and we want to express our sincere condolences to the families involved.

“Today, we must act. We are currently in touch with the State authorities who are dealing with this crisis.”

The Paris prosecutor’s has office opened an investigation for “murder, attempted murder in an organised group linked to a terrorist enterprise”. The probe is being handled by France’s intelligence agency and judicial police.

The Foreign Office says it is in touch with local authorities in Nice and has advised anyone in the area to follow the instructions of French authorities.

The attack comes days after France breathed a sigh of relief after hosting the Euros 2016 without incident.

The tournament took place under heavy security following the Paris attack that left 130 dead.

Source: http://news.sky.com/story/attack-in-nice-84-dead-as-truck-hits-crowd-10502068

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