People walking in "Las Ramblas", Barcelona

Photo via Xiquinho Silva/Flickr (CC-BY)

13 dead, at least 50 injured in Barcelona terrorist attack

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack on the popular tourist area.

Aug 17, 2017, 2:42 pm

Tech

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

The driver of a van plowed thorough a crowd of pedestrians in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring at least 50 more, according to reports.

The van sped through a pedestrian zone in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district, striking tourists and residents, the Associated Press reports. Spanish authorities are calling it a terrorist attack. The Las Ramblas district is popular among tourists.

The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, according to Reuters.

Authorities have made one arrest in the attack, CNN reported.

The area has been closed off by police and train stations near the site of the attack have also been closed.

A taxi driver who witnessed the attack told AP that the van drove into the central pedestrian walkway and swerved from side to side at a high rate of speed.  Another witness said the van passed right by their building and called the scene “chaotic.”

“We saw everything,” Carol Augustin told AP. “People started screaming and running into the office. It was such a chaotic situation. There were families with children. The police made us close the doors and wait inside.”

President Donald Trump tweeted about the attack on Thursday afternoon, saying the United States “condemns” the attack.

“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!” Trump wrote.

The president followed up the tweet by telling his followers to “study” what Gen. John Pershing did to “terrorists.”

In the past, Trump has brought up the, much scrutinized, likely false story that Pershing dipped bullets in pigs blood to discourage further terrorism during the Philippine-American War.

Many historians don’t believe that the Pershing legend is true. PolitiFact, a popular debunking website, cites eight historians who expressed skepticism that the story Trump brought up was factual.

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*First Published: Aug 17, 2017, 2:42 pm