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Saturday 19th
posted by Morning Star in World

Protesters chant ‘I’m not afraid’ through Las Ramblas as death toll rises to 14

A MASSIVE manhunt was under way in Spain yesterday following the Barcelona terror attack — as the death toll rose to 14 in the wake of a second incident overnight.

In a near repeat of Thursday afternoon’s van attack in the Catalan regional capital, five men in a car rammed pedestrians in the seaside town of Cambrils, some 70 miles south-west of the city, in the small hours of yesterday morning.

The occupants, who were wearing what turned out to be imitation explosive belts, jumped out of the cars and charged at police officers, who shot them.

Four assailants were killed at the scene and the fifth died in hospital.

The car attack left five people injured, including a woman who died yesterday as a result.

Islamic State (Isis) claimed responsibility for the van rampage through Barcelona’s Ramblas district, which claimed 13 lives.

Spanish police said they had arrested two more people yesterday, bringing the total to four.

Those taken into custody are three Moroccans and one Spaniard, none of whom had a record of involvement in terrorism.

Three of the arrests were made in the northern town of Ripoll, while one suspect was detained in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, where a gas explosion in a house that killed one person on Wednesday was also being treated as part of the terror offensive.

“There could be more people in Ripoll connected to the group,” regional interior ministry chief Joaquim Forn told TV3 television, adding that police were focused on identifying the five dead attackers in Cambrils as well as the driver of the Barcelona van.

A minute of silence for the victims was observed in Barcelona yesterday, followed by a march through the Ramblas by hundreds of people defiantly chanting: “I’m not afraid.”

Catalan separatist flags were raised during the silence but quickly lowered after those gathering objected to the event being politicised.

Lawyer and University of Glasgow rector Aamer Anwar, who was in Barcelona during the attack, said life was slowly getting back to normal.

“What I saw yesterday was a sea of humanity. People — black and white, Asian, gay, straight, people who were Muslim, non-Muslim, every race, creed, religion represented on this street,” he said.

“And that’s probably exactly the reason why these people attacked it — because it’s what they hate.”