Barcelona attack van driver shot dead by police

Barcelona attack van driver shot dead by police
Images of the suspect released by the police on Monday. Photo: Mossos
Police have shot dead a suspect who they believe could be the driver of the van in Las Ramblas attack.

Police confirm that they have shot dead a suspect in Subirats, a village nestled in vineyards 50km west of Barcelona and that it is Younes abouyaaqoub, the man alleged to have been the driver of a van that mowed down crowds in Barcelona.

He was wearing what appeared to be explosives on a suicide belt and was shot dead by officers on a road near an unmanned service station, an hour's drive from Barcelona.

17:05 La persona sospechosa de #Subirats lleva adherido al cuerpo el que parece un cinturón de explosivos. El individuo ha sido abatido

— Mossos (@mossos) August 21, 2017

The Catalan police  said they sent in a robot from the bomb detection squad to check all was clear before they were able to approach the body to confirm his identity.

Reports in national media claim that police received a call from a resident in Subirats who reported the suspect's whereabouts.

A manhunt had been ongoing for the 22-year-old Moroccan born man after images were released of him making his getaway after carrying out Las Ramblas attack which killed 13 people and left dozens injured.

El Pais published the images caught on CCTV on their website on Monday morning. 

Interior confirma que Younes Abouyaaqoub era el terrorista que conducía la furgoneta de La Rambla

— EL PAÍS (@el_pais) August 21, 2017

The 22-year-old Moroccan is believed to be the last remaining member of a 12-person cell still at large in Spain or abroad, with the others killed by police or detained over last week's twin attacks in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils.

He was described as “dangerous and possibly armed,” by police in Catalonia on Monday.

The regional police force, Los Mossos tweeted four pictures of Moroccan national Younes Abouyaaqoub wearing a striped top and with short, dark hair, and asked the public to “share as much (information) as possible.”


Click here for all the latest on Barcelona attack

The suspects accidentally caused an explosion at the house on the eve of Thursday's attack in Barcelona — an error that likely forced them to modify their plans.

Instead, they used a vehicle to smash into crowds on Barcelona's Las Ramblas boulevard as it was thronged with tourists, killing 13 people and injuring about 100.

Several hours later, a similar attack in the seaside town of Cambrils left one woman dead. Police shot and killed the five attackers in Cambrils, some of whom were wearing fake explosive belts and carrying knives.   

IS claimed responsibility for the attacks, believed to be its first in Spain.