PHOTO: CNN

Van Kills Pedestrians In Deadly Barcelona Terror Attack

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A white van plowed through a crowd of tourists and residents in the Las Ramblas district of Barcelona on Thursday afternoon, killing 13 people and injuring as many as 100 others in what Spanish officials confirmed as a terror attack, reports Fox News.

Shortly after the van travelled 1,800 feet down the famous promenade, swerving back and forth to hit as many people as possible, Catalan police arrested two people in connection with the attack. A manhunt is underway to apprehend the driver of the van, who is still at large.

“It was clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible,” said senior police official Josep Lluis Trapero to the Associated Press at a news conference.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on its Aamaq news agency, according to SITE Intel Group on Twitter.

“The perpetrators of the attack in #Barcelona are Islamic state soldiers and carried out the operation on command of [ISIS leader] of targeting coalition countries,” read the statement.

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Authorities connected the terror attack in Barcelona to a gas explosion in a house outside the city that killed one person and injured several others after firefighters found some 20 gas cylinders inside. Now it is believed to have been the home of a bomb maker.

Two suspects—one Moroccan and one Spanish—have been arrested by Catalonia police, although the driver has yet to be apprehended, according to USA Today. Police have identified one suspect as 28-year-old Moroccan citizen and legal resident of Spain Oukabir Driss for allegedly renting the van used in the attack. However, local media has reported the identification documents found on the suspect may have been stolen.

United States intelligence agencies are now combing through their databases to see if they had the suspect on government radar previously. They are also checking if the suspect has been barred from entering the United States.

In the meantime, Spain has declared three days of mourning in the city.

“Catalonia has always been a land of peace,” said regional president Carles Puigdemont in a statement. “We will never let a minority to end our way of living, which has been forged throughout the ages.”

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau added spoke to the press as well, saying, “We are a strong city in its diversity and values. Barcelona is a city of peace, of dialogue, of democracy, valient, open to the world. The cowards that have tried to plant terror will not get away with it.”

In a show of support for Spain, President Donald Trump condemned the attack on Twitter: “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!”

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Thursday’s attack marks the deadliest terror attack in Spain since 2004, when Al Quaeda-inspired bombers killed 192 people in coordinated attacks on Madrid’s commuter trains.

Since July 2016, similar van attacks by ISIS have occurred in Nice, Berlin, London, and Stockholm.

Aislinn Murphy is a junior at Cornell University majoring in Communication with a focus in Media Communication. Prior to attending Cornell, she studied Screenwriting and Film & Television Production at Loyola Marymount University.

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