Spain Observes Minute of Silence for Attack Victims

Thousands observed a minute of silence Friday in Barcelona’s main square for the victims of two vehicular attacks that left at least 14 people dead and more than 100 injured.  

Spain’s king and prime minister attended the observance at Barcelona’s Placa de Catalunya. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also declared three days of national mourning.

The mayhem began Thursday when a van ran down people in Barcelona, where the deaths and most of the injuries occurred on Las Ramblas boulevard.

Catalonia’s regional president says that there’s at least one “terrorist still out there” after the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. It wasn’t immediately clear if that person is the driver of the van in the Barcelona attack, who escaped on foot. 


Carles Puigdemont also told Onda Cero radio “we don’t have information regarding the capacity to do more harm.’’

Police arrested two people — a Moroccan and a Spaniard — but it was not immediately clear how they are connected with the attacks. A third person has been arrested in the northern Catalan town of Ripoll, Catalonia Interior Minister Joaquim Forn said.

The second attack took place hours later in Cambrils, a resort south of Barcelona, when an automobile careened into pedestrians and a police vehicle. Police killed the five attackers, who they said also carried explosive belts, which were later found to be fake. Six civilians were injured in the Cambrils attack.

Forn said Friday the Cambrils attack “follows the same trail” as the attack in Barcelona, he added, “There is a connection,” without giving further details.

“They are assassins, criminals who won’t terrorize us.  All of Spain is Barcelona,” Spain’s royal family said in statement.

Police believe the attacks are also connected to an explosion in a house in Catalonia Wednesday that killed one person. Authorities suspect the people in the house were building an explosive device to be used in a terrorist attack.

Van Runs Over People in Barcelona

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the deadly Barcelona rampage.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday 26 French citizens were among those injured in Barcelona. He said 11 are in serious condition. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, however, said in a radio interview that “the number of those who have been seriously injured may perhaps be even higher at around 17.”

Le Drian said in a statement that he will be in Barcelona Friday “to visit the French victims of this cowardly act and affirm France’s support to the Spanish people and authorities.”

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the van attack “jihadist terrorism.”

“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,” Rajoy told reporters.

Barcelona’s Ramblas quietly reopened to the public Friday. Residents and tourists were allowed past police lines and slowly trickled back to their homes and hotels. The city center remained under heavy surveillance.

A demonstration that will include a minute of silence honoring the victims was announced by public officials for Friday noon at the Plaza Catalunya, next to the top of the Ramblas, where the deadly attack began.

World leaders pledge unity, resolve

U.S. President Donald Trump said via Twitter the U.S. “will do whatever is necessary to help” Spain, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned, “Terrorists around the world should know, the United States and our allies are resolved to find you and bring you to justice.”

US Officials Condemn Barcelona Van Attack, Offer Assistance to Spain

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking in Berlin, said “These murderous attacks have once again showed us the total hatred of humanity with which Islamist terrorism acts.”  She said, “We will not allow these murderers to make us depart from our path, from our way of life.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said his thoughts were with the victims of the attack, and said France remains “united and determined.” In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was dark Thursday night to pay tribute to the victims.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he was “horrified by reports from Barcelona.”

Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen said Europe has “again been attacked by terror.”

“So long as the terrorists underestimate the spirit of the societies they seek to undermine, they will lose,” Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said about Barcelona.

The yellow and red colors of the Spanish flag lit up Tel Aviv’s City Hall Thursday night while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the civilized world must fight terrorism together and defeat it.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama tweeted that “ Americans will always stand with our Spanish friends.”

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