Timeline of terror in Spain: how Barcelona and Cambrils attacks unfolded

Three fatal incidents believed to be linked to terrorism occur over a 24-hour period and a 190-mile stretch of north-east Spain

Fourteen people have been confirmed killed in two attacks in Spain on Thursday. Thirteen died when a van was driven in to crowds on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, and one person was killed by a car in Cambrils, a coastal town 75 miles (120km) to the the south. The horrific events appear to have begun the night before, in another town 120 miles south of Barcelona.

Wednesday night, Alcanar

  • An explosion at a house in the small town of Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, and the southernmost point of Catalonia, kills one person and wounds 16.
  • Police say the blast is the result of an accumulation of gas, but do not release further details. Most injuries occur after firefighters and police officers are caught by a second blast while investigating the initial explosion.
  • Senior police official Josep Lluis Trapero later says the blast was related to the van attack in Barcelona the following day, and that those in the house were attempting to “prepare an explosive device”.

Thursday, 5pm, Barcelona

  • A white Fiat van veers off the road and into a crowd outside the Plaça de Catalunya metro station.
  • The driver continues down the pedestrian boulevard of Las Ramblas, a popular tourist destination, for more than 500 metres before stopping and fleeing on foot.
  • The smashed van is left at the foot of a mosaic by artist Joan Míro.
  • The attack kills 13 people and leaves about 100 injured.

6.30pm, Vic

  • In the town of Vic, 50 miles north of Barcelona, police find a second van, presumed to be a getaway vehicle.
  • Police say the van was hired at the same time as the Fiat used in the attack.
  • The perpetrator of the Barcelona attack remains at large.

7pm, ‘terrorist protocol’

7.30pm, Sant Just Desvern

  • A man is killed when he attempts to drive through a police roadblock in the town of Sant Just Desvern, on the outskirts of Barcelona.
  • Initial reports say he died from police gunfire after running over two officers, leaving one with a broken leg. An official at the time ruled out a connection to the attack on Las Ramblas.
  • On Friday morning, the Catalan interior minister, Joaquim Forn, contradicts earlier reports, saying the man died of knife wounds not inflicted by police.
  • He says a connection to the other attacks can no longer be ruled out.

8pm, suspect arrested

  • Police confirm one suspect, Driss Oukabir, has been arrested after turning himself in.
  • The 28-year old Moroccan-born Spanish resident is identified from documents left at the scene. But Oukabir says his passport and ID were stolen, and that he played no part in the attack.
  • Oukabir is arrested in the northern Catalan town of Ripoll, 70 miles from Barcelona. He tells police he came forward after he saw his name and image being circulated in the media.
  • The El País newspaper says Oukabir, or someone with his ID, rented the Fiat van used in the attack.

9pm, Isis speaks out

  • Islamic State claims responsibility for the attack.
  • Using the group’s Amaq news agency, Isis claims the perpetrators of the attack are “soldiers of the Islamic State”, but this has not yet been verified. Claims of responsibility by Isis do not necessarily mean there is a direct connection between attackers and the terrorist group.

9.30pm, second suspect arrested

  • A second unnamed suspect is confirmed as arrested, according to Catalonia’s regional president, Carles Puigdemont.
  • The police official Josep Lluis Trapero says the second man was born in the Spanish territory of Melilla in northern Morocco, and was arrested in Alcanar, the site of Wednesday’s house explosion.

Friday, 1am, Cambrils

  • Police kill four alleged terrorists, and injure one, after they carry out a second attack in the coastal town of Cambrils.
  • Police say the attackers drove an Audi A3 car into pedestrians, injuring six civilians and one police officer.
  • The Associated Press reports that police said that attackers were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts.
Five dead after gunfire erupts on the streets in the Spanish city Cambrils

4am, injury toll

  • The injured suspect in Cambrils dies, bringing the number of dead suspects to five.
  • Police say one of the injured civilians is in a critical condition and is in hospital.
  • Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn contradicts earlier reports about the roadblock in Sant Just Desvern. He says the man, who was the owner of the car, was not driving and was in the passenger seat. He was not killed by police but rather, was stabbed to death.
  • Forn said a connection to the other attacks was a possibility, and that a hunt was under way to find the person who drove the car to the roadblock.

8.30am, third arrest

  • Catalonian police say they have arrested a third suspect in connection with the attacks, in Ripoll, where Driss Oukabir had been arrested on Thursday.

We have arrested a third person in Ripoll related to the attacks #Cambrils #Barcelona

— Mossos (@mossos) August 18, 2017

9.45am, suspected van driver identified

  • Spanish police identify 18-year-old Moussa Oukabir as the suspected driver of the van used in Las Ramblas attack, according to reports in Spanish media.
  • Oukabir is understood to be the younger brother of Driss Oukabir, the man arrested in Ripoll on Thursday. Driss Oukabir is reported to have told police that his identity documents were stolen before they were used to rent the van.

11.30am Overall death toll rises to 14

  • Police say a Spanish woman has died of injuries sustained in the Cambrils attack, taking the overall toll to 14.

12.40pm, fourth arrest

  • Spanish media report that a fourth person has been arrested in connection with the attacks.

Friday afternoon, suspects sought

  • Late on Friday afternoon it is reported that the police are hunting for four suspects named as Moussa Oukabir, Mohamed Hychami, Younes Abouyaaqoub, and Said Aallaa, all from the Catalonian town of Ripoll.

Friday night, five killed in Cambrils named by police

  • Catalan police confirm that the five shot dead in Cambrils included Moussa Oukabir, 17, (who has elsewhere been reported to be 18), who had initially been sought as the driver in the Ramblas attack. El Houssaine Abouyaaqoub, 19, and Said Aallaa, 19, were also killed. All three were Moroccan. The other two killed, Omar Hychami, 21, and Mohamed Hychami, 24, were listed as born in Morocco.
  • Police are still hunting Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, who they now suspect may have been the van driver in Barcelona, along with two other unnamed suspects who are still on the run. In total, 12 people are suspected of involvement in the wave of attacks 0-five were killed in Cambrils and a further four have been arrested.


Naaman Zhou

The GuardianTramp

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