The Times of Israel: At least five dead in Barcelona terror attack17 August 2017 | 19:32 | FOCUS News Agency
Police said the driver fled on foot after the van came to a standstill after crashing into a kiosk. Spain’s El Pais newspaper, citing police sources, said he and a second perpetrator of the attack were holed up in a bar, and other reports said they may be holding hostages.
In a photograph shown by public broadcaster RTVE, three people were lying on the ground in the historic Las Ramblas district and were apparently being helped by police and others.
Police cordoned off the broad street and shut down its stores. They asked people to stay away from the area so as not to get in the way of the emergency services. A helicopter hovered over the scene.
Las Ramblas, a street of stalls and shops that cuts through the center of Barcelona, is one of the city’s top tourist destinations. People walk down a wide, pedestrianized path in the center of the street, but cars can travel on either side.
The commercial vehicle drove at high speed into a crowd in the popular tourist area. The incident took place adjacent to the Maccabi kosher restaurant.The area is popular with Israeli tourists.
Barak Ben Gal, an Israeli tour guide in Barcelona who witnessed the ramming, told Channel 2, “People dropped to the ground, there were wounded. It was dozens. The area is completely evacuated. Police are everywhere. There are helicopters in the air.”
He added, “I’ve lived here 14 years, it’s the first time I’ve seen something like this.”
Another witness said that within minutes police and emergency services arrived, cleared the streets and closed the stores. He said that people had taken refuge in nearby stores.
Catalan police tweeted, “There has just been a massive trampling on the Ramblas in Barcelona by a person with a van. There are injured.”
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