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A white van suspected of ploughing into pedestrians in Barcelona this afternoon
A white van suspected of ploughing into pedestrians in Barcelona this afternoon

At least 13  people were killed   and 50  were injured after a van rammed through crowds of people in the heart of Barcelona Thursday in an apparent terror attack.

Eyewitnesses reported panic and chaos as the van plowed through crowds in the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, which was teeming at the time with locals and tourists.
The number of casualties is “bound to rise” as some people are in a critical condition, Joaquim Forn, the Catalan interior minister, told a news conference.
Catalan police said that 10 people were seriously injured. They were treating the incident as a terror attack and have sealed off the area.
A graphic showing the sequence of the depraved van attack in Barcelona
A graphic showing the sequence of the depraved van attack in Barcelona

City officials ordered all public events to be canceled, while emergency services requested the closure of metro and train stations in the area.

Reports of the attack first emerged on social media at about 5 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET). About two hours later, police confirmed that Spain had suffered a deadly attack.
It was the latest in a series of attacks in Europe in which vehicles have been used to mow down pedestrians in public spaces.
Catalan police said they were continuing to hunt for the perpetrators and that the force had activated its terror response protocols. Unconfirmed reports suggested the suspects may have been attempting to reach a getaway vehicle.
Local Spanish media earlier reported that two armed men had entered a restaurant.
As the incident unfolded, police told everyone in the vicinity of Plaça de Catalunya and Las Ramblas to remain indoors until told it was safe to go outside. Footage posted to social media by witnesses showed chaotic scenes with people lying in the street, apparently dead or injured.

Witness reports gunshots

One witness told local media the situation was “very tense” and that all surrounding shops were being evacuated. The witness said at least eight ambulances were at the scene. Emergency services said the area had been cordoned off and all public transportation stopped.
Another witness who was hiding in a shop nearby heard gunshots, according to state-run broadcaster TVE24. Another witness said he saw a van driving “around 80 kilometers” per hour, or 50 mph. He said “there is no doubt it was intentional,” according to TVE24.
Tourist Susan McClean told CNN that she saw a “tidal wave” of people running away from Las Ramblas in the aftermath of the incident.
She ducked into a nearby shop and the shutters were pulled down while police sped toward the scene.
“There was clearly a lot of distress,” she told CNN.
McClean said she returned to her hotel just a street away after leaving the shop.
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