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Images of Younes Abouyaaqoub distributed by police.
Images of Younes Abouyaaqoub distributed by police.

Police gun down main suspect in Barcelona attack, Younes Abouyaaqoub

  • All 15 victims of the attacks in the city and in Cambrils have been identified

The main suspect in the Las Ramblas terrorist attack in Barcelona, Younes Abouyaaqoub, has been shot dead by police this afternoon.

Counter-terrorism sources have said that he was wearing an explosives belt when he was shot.

Catalan police confirmed on Monday that they were searching for one man they believe to have been at the wheel of the white van that mowed down crowds in Barcelona's Las Ramblas last Thursday evening, killing 13 and leaving more than a hundred injured.

The man was named as Younes Abouyaaqoub and distributed photographs, calling on members of the general public to come forward with any information that might lead to his arrest.

According to the authorities Abouyaaqoub was alone in the van at the moment of the attack.

After zig-zagging for around 500 metres through the iconic pedestrian street packed with tourists, spreading panic and carnage, the suspect abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot through the Boquería market among the hundreds of people fleeing the chaos. He walked for around an hour and a half as far as the Barcelona university area.

There he came across Pau Pérez, from Villafranca del Penedés, who had gone to visit his grandmother in Barcelona and parked his car in the university area. According to the police's version of events Abouyaaqoub stabbed Pérez with a machete as he was getting out of his car and pushed him inside. The suspect then drove the car, failing to stop at a police checkpoint and injuring a police officer.

He abandoned the car in Sant Just Desvern, on the outskirts of the city and has not been seen since.

Pau Pérez was named as the 15th victim of the terror attacks, on top of the 13 who died in Las Ramblas and a woman who was killed in the attack late on Thursday night in Cambrils. Six of the victims had Spanish nationality (five resident in Catalonia and a sixth in Zaragoza), three were Italian, two Portuguese, one Belgian, one was a US national, one Canadian and one Australian.

Of the 126 people who were injured, 50 are still in hospital, nine of them in a critical condition.