Details in this AP report via SF Gate worth reading.
UPDATE 5:45 PM EDT
A few clarifications from the Telegraph live blogging on the event:
- State-owned broadcaster RTVE reported that investigators think two vans were used - one for the attack and a second as a getaway vehicle.
- The driver was arrested around two and a half hours after the attack, police said. A second suspect was also arrested.
- Police shot dead a third man who drove at officers at a checkpoint. It was not clear whether he was connected to the Las Ramblas attack.
- One of the arrested men was named as Driss Oukabir. He is suspected of renting the van, but later denied involvement and reportedly said his documents had been stolen.
UPDATE 5:37 PM EDT
BREAKING: One killed in explosion linked to Barcelona terror attack
ONE person has been killed in an explosion at a house in an incident connected to the Barcelona terror attack, according to Catalyan police.
The blast happened in the Alcanar is a Spanish municipality of Catalan – around 202km away from Barcelona.
The person who died in the blast is alleged to have been handling canisters of butane – a highly explosive gas.
A senior police officer told Reuters that the explosion is linked to the van attack on Las Ramblas in which 13 people were killed earlier today.
frm the Daily Star UK
also, latest CNN update comports with Daily Star story; also, CNN now reporting 100 injured:
UPDATE - 5:10 PM EDT
From CNN report updated 4:47 PM EDT
- Reports of the incident emerged on social media about 5 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT).
- At least 13 people killed, 80 injured.
- ISIS media wing Amaq said the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack were "soldiers of the Islamic State." However, ISIS has not explicitly claimed responsibility.
- 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.
- Catalan police later tweeted that a driver had run over two police officers at a security checkpoint in Barcelona and that the driver had been found near the city. The two officers suffered minor injuries and did not need hospital treatment, police said. It was unclear whether that incident was related to the terror attack.
- Local Spanish media earlier reported that two armed men had entered a restaurant. But Catalan police dismissed rumors the attacker had been holed up near Las Ramblas and said there "was never a hostage situation."
Reuters 4:14 pm still reporting 2 arrests:
Reuters 3:29pm EDT
(MADRID) Catalonia's regional head said on Thursday that Spanish police had arrested two people after a van drove into crowds in Barcelona city's center.
At least 80 people have been hospitalized and around 12 have died, Carles Puigdemont told a news conference. It was still not clear how many attackers had been involved in the incident.
***Telegraph (U.K.) 3:39pm EDT
Live Updating (British time)
9:09 PM Oukabir denies involvement in Las Ramblas attack
8:34pm Man who drove at police officers at checkpoint shot dead
A white van crashed into a packed summer crowd this evening in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district. Barcelona police called it a terror attack. Officials said 12 people were killed and 80 injured.
The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The driver was arrested around two and a half hours after the attack, police said.
The vehicle hit pedestrians in Las Ramblas, a busy tree-lined promenade in the centre of the city.
Police released a photograph of a man called Driss Oukabir [see Telegraph for photo], who is suspected of renting the van which was used to crash into the pedestrians.
Reuters/Jerusalem Post staff - 18:52
One of the suspected attackers has been killed in a shootout with police on the outskirts of the city, La Vanguardia newspaper reported.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's Amaq news agency said.
"The perpetrators of the Barcelona attack are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states," the agency said, referring to a United States-led coalition against the Sunni militant group.
Police earlier confirmed they had arrested two people in connection with the attack. It was not immediately clear how many attackers were involved in the incident.
The death toll was reported by Cadena Ser radio, citing police sources. Police said some people were dead and injured but did not confirm the number of casualties. They said were searching for the driver of the van.
Spanish newspaper El Periodico said two armed men were holed up in a bar in Barcelona's city center, and reported gunfire in the area, although it did not cite the source of the information.
It was not immediately clear whether the incidents were connected.
The incident occurred in vicinity of the Maccabi kosher and Habibi halal restaurants. They are located across from the city's medieval Jewish quarter.
Limor Hasson, an Israeli tourist, told Channel 2 that there was a group of about 20 Israelis in the Maccabi restaurant at the time of the attack.
Chief Rabbi of Barcelona Meir Bar-Hen told Channel 2 that all community events will be cancelled and that he is headed to the scene of the incident to offer his services.
Bar-Hen said that it did not appear that Jews were targeted.
Chabad representative told The Jerusalem Post that the institute is located close to the scene of the attack and that members of Chabad staff were trying to reach the area to see if they were any Jewish casualties but that the police would not let them enter the area. "If there are Jews there we will try to find them and help them however we can," he said. "We are waiting for the incident to be over."
He confirmed that all Jewish institutes had closed until they received further notice.
19:21 - 17.08.2017 updated 21:58