Police: Deadly Van Attack In Barcelona An Act Of Terrorism
Josep Lago—AFP/Getty Images
This article originally appeared on TIME Police say a van driven into a crowd of people in the Spanish city of Barcelona, killing an unknown number, is being treated as an act of terrorism. Local media are reporting up to 13 people killed in the attack, but authorities have not yet given a number of fatalities. However Spanish police confirmed that people had been killed in the incident late Thursday afternoon, and that they are searching for the perpetrator. Spain’s finance secretary had earlier tweeted to say the priority is to treat the victims and “find the terrorists.” The U.S. State Department described it as a “serious security incident” in an emergency message to Americans in the city. In a photograph shown by public broadcaster RTVE, three people were lying on the ground in the street and were apparently being helped by police and others.
Police cordoned off the broad, popular street, ordering stores and nearby Metro and train stations to close. They asked people to stay away from the area so as not to get in the way of 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.