Manhunt underway, ISIS claims responsibility for Barcelona attack


Authorities are reporting that 13 people were killed and at least 100 were injured when a van drove at a high rate of speed through a busy pedestrian area in Barcelona, Spain Thursday, mowing down everyone in its path.

The attack occurred around 4:30 p.m. local time, and two suspects have been arrested, but neither is the driver of the vehicle, contrary to initial reports. The two suspects arrested are a Moroccan man, and a man from Melilla, a Spanish city on the north coast of Africa. The driver of the attack van reportedly escaped into the crowd and police have still not located him.

The identity of the Moroccan man is still in question. He was originally identified as Driss Oukabir by police and local media, until the “real” Driss Oukabir came forward revealing his identification papers had been stolen, and he was not involved with the attack.

The Islamic State’s news agency, Amaq, released a statement Thursday announcing that those who carried out the terror attack in Barcelona Thursday are “soldiers of the Islamic State.”

“The perpetrators of the Barcelona attack are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states,” Amaq reported, according to an English translation.

A house explosion which occurred Wednesday night in the town of Alcanar, in which one person was killed and seven were injured, is believed to be connected to the vehicle attack Thursday in Barcelona.

Authorities report that about 20 canisters of gas were found in the ruins of the exploded home, raising suspicions that those canisters were originally intended to be used in the vehicle attack on Thursday.

Spanish police report that an “operation” is currently underway Thursday night in the town of Cambril, which is about 70 miles outside Barcelona. Police have informed residents to lock their doors and stay inside their homes. Details about that operation are scant, but news media is reporting that it may be connected to the attack in Barcelona earlier Thursday. Spanish police have just reported that they have killed “several” suspects in that operation.

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