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TERRORISM

Morocco arrests two men linked to Catalonia terror attacks

Spain's Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido, visiting his Moroccan counterpart Tuesday, said Rabat had arrested two men linked to deadly twin attacks in Catalonia.

Morocco arrests two men linked to Catalonia terror attacks
Tributes left at the scene in Las Ramblas. Photo: AFP

“Thanks to permanent contact and collaboration between the two countries, Moroccan security services have carried out two arrests here in Morocco linked to the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils,” he said.

He declined to give further details because the men were still under investigation.

READ MORE: Spain suspects admits terror cell planned to 'kill hundreds'

Zoido was in Rabat to meet Moroccan Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit for talks on the investigation into the attacks on August 17th and 18th which left 16 people dead.

The main suspects in the attacks, claimed by the Islamic State group, were of Moroccan origin, but most had lived in Spain for several years.    

The two ministers said Morocco was working closely with Spanish security forces.

Laftit warned of the potential influence of “uncontrolled mosques” and “extremist imams” on members of Europe's Moroccan diaspora.  

“The children of second and third generation Moroccan immigrants who were born in European countries need particular attention (if they are to) escape the clutches of terrorism,” he said.

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.

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