ISIS claims responsibility for Barcelona van attack

'The executors of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the Islamic State,' confirms ISIS' Amaq outlet on its Telegram messenger account

18 August 2017, 9:29am
Last updated on 18 August 2017, 11:22am
A van crashed into pedestrians last night in Barcelona, Spain, injuring 100 and killing 13. Photo: AlJazeera
A van crashed into pedestrians last night in Barcelona, Spain, injuring 100 and killing 13. Photo: AlJazeera
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has claimed responsibility for a deadly van-ramming attack in one of Barcelona’s busiest tourist areas.

At least 13 people were killed and 100 injured after a suspect ploughed a white van into a crowd Thursday in the bustling Las Ramblas area. The 1.2-kilometre stretch is often heaving with tourists.

Spanish police said the suspected driver was still on the run and that they had arrested two other people in connection with the attack. Police barriers have been set up around the city.

"The executors of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the Islamic State," ISIL's Amaq outlet said on its Telegram messenger account, without naming those it claimed were behind the attack.

Amaq said ISIL had launched the attack in response to calls to target states taking part in the US-led coalition battling the group in Iraq and Syria.

ISIL has claimed several similar attacks in Europe over the past year.

Police described Thursday’s violence as a “terrorist attack”.

El Pais newspaper said the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot after the attack.

It was still unclear how many attackers had been involved in the incident.

Spain’s public broadcaster, RTVE, reported that regional police troopers killed 4 people and injured another.  It was not clear if the operation was connected to Thursday’s van attack.

The Thursday attack in the northeastern Catalan city was the country’s deadliest since 2004 when al-Qaeda-inspired bombers killed 192 people in coordinated attacks on Madrid’s commuter trains.