Attack of Barcelona: the driver in flight, a Moroccan and a Spanish arrested
The scientific police is still at night fallen on the scene of the drama, on August 17, 2017 on the Ramblas of Barcelona
The driver of the van, which killed 13 people and injured about 100 on Thursday in Barcelona, is on the run but two suspects, a Spaniard and a Moroccan, were arrested, the spokesman for the Catalan police said.
The driver got out of the truck after mowing pedestrians on the Rambla, an avenue full of tourists at this time, and ran away without saying anything, said spokesman Josep Lluis Trapero.
“To our knowledge he had no weapons and several witnesses said he was not armed,” he said.
After the bombing, the police confined the survivors to the shops and restaurants along the Rambla, which they were able to start late in the evening.
One of the suspects arrested is a Spaniard born in Melilla (city under Spanish administration in northern Morocco) and the other is Moroccan Driss Oukabir, said the spokesman. None had a criminal record.
Oukabir is linked to the van used in the attack claimed in a statement by the jihadist Islamic state. He was arrested in Ripoll, a hundred kilometers north of Barcelona, the police officer said.
According to Spanish media, the van would have been rented to his name.
The Spanish suspect was arrested in Alcanar, 200 km south of Barcelona, a town where an explosion in a house last night killed seven people. Investigators linked the explosion to the attack in Barcelona, he added. “We suspect they (the occupants) were preparing an explosive device.”
The spokesman did not want to link the attack or the explosion to another incident where a motorist was shot down by police on Thursday. He had forced a police barrier in a neighboring municipality in Barcelona, mowing two policemen, one of whom had his leg fractured. The driver of the car, of Spanish nationality, died. He did not have a criminal record, he said.