SHARE
COPY LINK

TERRORISM

Death toll in Spain attacks mounts to 15

The death toll in Spain's terror attacks has risen to 15, Catalonia's regional minister Joaquim Forn said Monday, as a man found stabbed dead in a car outside Barcelona was linked to the case.

Death toll in Spain attacks mounts to 15
Floral tributes to the victims on Las Ramblas. Photo: AFP

“We are raising the number of victims from 14 to 15 to include the victim in the vehicle found in Sant Just,” he told journalists.   

The victim was identified as Pau Perez, a Spaniard from Vilafranca del Penedes, some 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Barcelona.    

He was found fatally stabbed in a Ford Focus that had forced a police checkpoint Thursday just after a van ploughed through crowds in Barcelona's Las Ramblas boulevard, killing 13 people.

Police had fired at the car when it forced the checkpoint, injuring an officer, and initially thought the man they found in the car had been killed by the gunfire.

An investigation later revealed he had been stabbed.   

On Monday, Forn said the incident was linked to the Barcelona car-ramming attack.

Police believe Perez was stabbed by Younes Abouyaaqoub, the alleged van driver.

READ MORE: Van driver fled through market moments after mowing down crowds on Las Ramblas

He managed to flee the scene of the carnage on foot, and is thought to have killed Perez to grab his car and escape the city.   

He is still on the run and police Europe-wide are hunting for him.

Authorities confirmed that all 15 victims of the attacks had now been identifed. 

“They have all been identified and their families have been notified,” Carles Mundo, Catalonia's regional justice minister told a news conference on Monday.

The 15 comprise six Spanish nationals, three Italians, two Portuguese, a Belgian, a Canadian, an American and a British-Australian, he added. Among them two are children.

READ ALSO: Police confirm death of 7-yr-old Julian Cadman in Las Ramblas attack

ENVIRONMENT

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?

Around 10,000 people demonstrated against the expansion of the El Prat airport in Barcelona on Sunday.

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?
People march during a demonstration against the expansion of the Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

Several ecological and agricultural organisations, have demanded that the expansion be stopped due to the fact nearby wetlands and farms would have to be destroyed.

The demonstration took place on Calle Tarragona in the Catalan capital between Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça dels Països Catalans.

The protests still took place, even though last week, Spain suspended the €1.7 billion airport expansion project, citing differences with the Catalan government, after president Pere Aragonès said he wanted to avoid destroying La Ricarda lagoon, a natural reserve next to the airport. 

Environmentalists decided not to call off the march, in case plans for the airport expansion still went ahead.

READ ALSO: Six things you need to know about Barcelona airport’s €1.7 billion planned expansion

Political representatives from ERC, En Comú Podem and the CUP also attended, as well as the leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón; the Deputy Mayor for Ecology of the Barcelona City Council, Janet Sanz, and the Mayor of El Prat de Llobregat, Lluís Mijoler.

People from neighbourhoods across the city marched towards Calle Tarragona and could be seen holding placards that read Nature yes, airport no and shouting slogans such as “More courgettes and fewer planes” and “Fighting for the climate, health, and life”. 

One of the largest groups of people were those from El Prat de Llobregat, the municipality which is home to the airport, who were led by tractors. 

People march during a demonstration against the expansion of Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

In addition to protesting against the expansion of the El Prat airport, people were also demonstrating against the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees and extensions to airports in Mallorca and Madrid. 

A representative of Zeroport, Sara Mingorría said “We are here to defend not only La Ricarda, but the entire Delta”. 

The philosopher Marina Garcés also argued that the expansion of the airport would mean “more borders, more mass tourism, more control and more precarious jobs.” 

The leader of the commons in the Catalan parliament, Jéssica Albiach, who also attended the protest, asked the PSOE for “coherence”: “You cannot be passing a law against climate change and, at the same time, defend the interests of Aena [the airport operations company]”, she said. 

She also urged the leader of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, to “definitely say no. 

If the airport expansion in Barcelona goes ahead, environmentalists say that CO2 emissions would rise by a minimum of 33 percent. These levels would surpass the limits set by the Catalan government’s climate targets.

SHOW COMMENTS