By RUSSELL GOLDMAN
- Police were searching for the driver of a van who killed 13 people and injured scores when he plowed into a busy pedestrian thoroughfare in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday.
- Hours later, police fatally shot five suspects in the seaside town of Cambrils, about 60 miles to the southwest. The suspects, who police said were wearing vests with fake explosives, had driven a car onto a sidewalk, killing one person and injuring six.
- Four suspects are being held by police in their investigation of the two vehicular assaults.
- The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack, and authorities said the two vehicular assaults had been coordinated.Who is suspected?
Authorities were still searching for the driver of the van that jumped a curb and began speeding down the pedestrian walkway at the center of Barcelona’s most famous street, Las Ramblas.
They said they were looking for a man identified as Moussa Oukabir, 17, who is suspected in the attack and could possibly be the driver of the van. Another police official said Friday that Oukabir may have been among the five assailants killed in the second attack in Cambrils.
Oukabir is the younger brother of a man arrested Thursday when he turned himself in to police in Ripoll, a city about 65 miles north of Barcelona. The man, Driss Oukabar, a French citizen of Moroccan origin, said his identity documents, discovered in the van used for the Barcelona attack, had been stolen and his brother was responsible, according to local news reports.
Police in Alcanar also arrested a Spaniard from the Spanish territory of Melilla in Morocco. They said they were investigating a possible link to what was initially believed to be a gas explosion there Wednesday. The man was not identified.
Two more people were detained Friday in connection with the attacks, which killed and wounded people from at least 34 countries.
While the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack, authorities have not yet confirmed the group’s involvement.
– Are the two attacks related?
It appears so.
Joaquim Forn, Catalonia’s interior minister, told a local radio station that the incident in Cambrils “follows the same trail” as the van attack in Barcelona. “There is a connection,” he said.
The Barcelona attack occurred just before 6 p.m., when the van jumped a curb and began speeding 1,600 feet along Las Ramblas, leaving a trail of bloodied bodies on the side of the tree-lined boulevard.
The van came to a halt on top of a tile mosaic by Spanish artist Joan Miro, and the driver escaped on foot.
– What happened in Cambrils?
About eight hours after the attack in Barcelona, Catalan police confronted and killed five suspects in the seaside town of Cambrils.
Authorities say they interrupted what would have been a larger attack. But the suspects, who had fake explosives strapped to their bodies, were able to drive their car into a crowd of people, killing one person and injuring six. A police officer was also hurt.
– Who are the victims?
Details have only begun to emerge about the dead and injured, who Spanish authorities said were from at least 34 countries.
One American was killed, and another injured, according to the State Department. They were not identified.
Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni confirmed on Twitter that two Italian tourists in Barcelona were killed: Luca Russo, 25, who was on vacation with his girlfriend; and Bruno Gulotta, 35, who was killed while walking with his wife and their two young children along Las Ramblas.
Twenty-six French were wounded, with 11 in serious condition, France’s foreign minister said. Flags in the country were lowered to half-mast Friday.
A Belgian was reported to have been killed, and Australia’s foreign minister said an Australian citizen was unaccounted for. The Chinese Consulate in Barcelona said a Hong Kong resident had been slightly injured.
What is not yet known
– The identity of the driver of the van in Barcelona, and the breadth of the conspiracy.
– The extent of the Islamic State’s involvement. If the Islamist extremist group was involved, did the group order the attacks and provide material support, or did it merely inspire the attackers who conspired on their own?
– The names and nationalities of most of the victims.