Van driver in Barcelona attack shot dead


Police have shot dead the van driver behind the Barcelona terror attack, authorities in Catalonia say.
Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, was gunned down by officers and appeared to be wearing what looked like a suicide belt.
The Moroccan was cornered in Subirats, about 50km west of Barcelona, early today.
Thirteen people were killed in in Barcelona on Thursday (Friday NZT), including seven-year-old New South Wales boy Julian Cadman.
Joaquim Forn, head of home affairs in Catalonia’s regional government, said earlier “everything indicates” Abouyaaqoub was behind the wheel.
Police have revealed he stole a car and killed its owner as he made his getaway after fleeing the carnage in Las Ramblas on foot.
He had been the only at-large member of the 12-strong terror cell behind the attacks in Barcelona on Friday and in the seaside town of Cambrils early on Saturday.
One person was killed in the Cambrils attack, in which terrorists wearing fake suicide belts drove an Audi A3 into pedestrians, bringing the death toll to 14.
Police revealed Abouyaaqoub walked around Barcelona for about 90 minutes after the van attack before hijacking a Ford Focus, stabbing its owner, Pau Perez, and driving away with his body still inside.
Abouyaaqoub rammed the car through a police checkpoint on Saturday night then dumped the vehicle about a kilometre away but he had fled by the time police found it with Perez’s body still inside.
Four other suspects have been arrested and at least two extremists died on Thursday in an explosion at a house in Alcanar, where explosives were being prepared.
Police believe the blast in Alcanar prevented the cell from carrying out a far more deadly attack.
Police are probing claims the cell was radicalised by an imam with links to the Madrid train bombers and an area in Belgium known as a hot-spot for Islamic State recruiting.
Spanish newspaper El Pais said Abdelbaki Es Satty was imam at one of the two mosques in Ripoll, in the north-east of Spain near the French border and about 100km from Barcelona. All of the main suspects are believed to have lived in the small town. AP

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