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Man shot dead in hunt for suspect in Barcelona attack

A roadblock near the scene of the shooting

Police hunting the chief suspect in last Thursday’s Barcelona van attack have shot dead a man to the west of the city who appeared to be wearing an explosive belt, Spanish media say.

The shooting is said to have happened on a road in the Subirats area.

Earlier, police confirmed they were hunting for Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, suspected of driving a van into dozens of people on Las Ramblas.

Some Spanish media are reporting Abouyaaqoub is the man killed.

But Spanish police have yet to officially confirm this.

Media reports quoting police sources said the man targeted in Subirats shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Greatest”) when confronted.

The operation took place some 25 miles (40km) from Barcelona, where Thursday’s attack on Las Ramblas killed 13.

An extensive manhunt was under way.

El Mundo says police were alerted to a man fitting the description of Abouyaaqoub near a petrol station.

Bomb disposal officers also attended, police say.
Escape

At an earlier news conference, police described how after the attack Abouyaaqoub made his escape on foot to the outskirts of the city where he hijacked a car.

CCTV footage in Spanish media appears to show him walking through a market district shortly after the attack.

Some 90 minutes after mowing down dozens of people on the central Las Ramblas avenue, Abouyaaqoub fled to the city’s university district, police said.

Abouyaaqoub is alleged to have hijacked the car before driving it through a police checkpoint and later abandoning the vehicle. Police say he may have crossed into France.
The male driver of the car, Pau Pérez, 34, from Vila Franca, was found stabbed to death in the back seat, becoming the 15th victim of the Barcelona bloodshed and a   later attack in the resort of Cambrils.

A woman died in Cambrils when a car was driven into pedestrians and five suspected jihadists were killed at the scene by police.

At the earlier news conference on Monday, officials also revealed there were “strong indications” that an imam suspected of radicalising the young men who carried out the attacks had died in an explosion at a house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, that was being used as a bomb factory.

Source BBC

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