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Gunmen Barricaded in Barcelona Bar After 'Terrorist' Van Attack Kills 13, Injures 50

  • VOA Staff

Police officers and bystanders are seen attending to injured people on the ground after a van plowed through a sidewalk, at Las Ramblas, near Placa de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Spain, Aug. 17, 2017. (Courtesy - Jordi Ramos)

Two armed men barricaded themselves in a bar in Barcelona's city center Thursday after a van hopped a curb on a busy street and crashed into dozens of people, leaving at least 13 dead and 50 injured.

Catalonia Interior Minister Joaquim Forn tweeted that at least 13 people were killed and more than 50 injured Thursday when a driver plowed a van into pedestrians on a busy street in Barcelona.

The Spanish publication El Periodico reported gunfire in the area of La Boqueria Market, although it did not cite the source of the information.

Police confirmed in a statement on Twitter there had been fatalities from the “huge collision” in the Las Ramblas tourist district of Barcelona’s city center, but did not specify how many.

El Pais newspaper reports that the driver of the vehicle fled on foot after running over the pedestrians, though it was not immediately clear that the gunmen were the drivers of the van.

Police on the scene told people by megaphone to leave the area, as they were dealing with a "terrorist attack." The "terrorist" nature of the attack was later officially confirmed by Catalonia Police on Twitter.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Twitter he’d been in contact with local authorities after the attack and right now the government’s priority is tending to those wounded.

Police have cordoned off the area and emergency services also are on the scene.

The White House has said President Donald Trump is being briefed on the ongoing situation. Trump is on a working vacation at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. His wife, first lady Melania Trump, sent her “thoughts and prayers” to Barcelona via Twitter.

Las Ramblas Boulevard is one of Barcelona's busiest streets and is generally filled with tourists and street vendors.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Las Ramblas, Barcelona
Las Ramblas, Barcelona

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