World Media

Terror cell behind Spanish attacks dismantled - Minister

Terror cell behind Spanish attacks dismantled - Minister

A Spanish woman died in a second vehicle attack overnight in Cambrils south of Barcelona.

Ripoll is a quiet town of around 10,000 people in a rural area about 100km (62 miles) north of Barcelona and is a key area linked to nearly all the suspects.

"We don't have any specific information on this but it can not be ruled out", Catalan police chief Josep Lluis Trapero said at a news conference when asked if the suspect possibly crossed into France.

The news comes with reports the alleged ringleader of the Spain terror attacks had links to one of the 2004 Madrid bombers and was in Brussels shortly before bombings there previous year.

Abouyaaqoub was believed to be the only member still at large from the cell responsible for the Barcelona bloodshed and another attack, several hours later, in the resort of Cambrils, 110km south-west of Barcelona.

Four to appear in court in connection with Barcelona attacks
Oukabir's brother, Mousa was killed during a police shootout in Cambrils along with four other terror suspects, Friday morning. The attacks killed at least 15 people and wounded over 100, with tourists from three dozen countries perishing in the carnage.

At least one of the suspects also spent a night in Zurich in December, according to Swiss police, who said it was too early to speculate about any connections with Switzerland. The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, quoting police, said three Germans were also among the fatalities. They had used an Audi A3 to ram pedestrians and were armed with knives and wearing fake suicide belts.

The remains of around 120 gas canisters were found there. "Otherwise we would go get him", Josep Lluis Trapero, the head of the Catalan police, said at a press conference.

Asked in a radio interview about an editorial in leading Spanish daily El Pais which called on Catalan parties to "return to reality" after the attacks, Puigdemont said: "Mixing up our priority now, which is to respond to the terrorist threat and attend to victims, with anything seems just vile to me".

It is believed to be the first time IS has claimed an attack in Spain.

Fifty-nine people are still in hospital, including 15 in critical condition, the Catalan interior ministry said.

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Among the dead and injured were people from three dozen countries, including Algeria, Australia, China, France, Ireland, Peru and Venezuela, Spanish officials said.

His former mosque denounced the deadly attacks and weeping relatives marched into a Ripoll square on Saturday, tearfully denying any knowledge of the radical plans of their sons and brothers.

Until now, the country had been spared the recent wave of extremist attacks that have hit France, Belgium and Germany. Hours later, members of the jihadist group carried out a similar attack in Cambrils further south.

Spain has also had to deal with a decades-long campaign of violence waged by Basque separatist group ETA, which only declared a ceasefire in 2011.

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