Australia condemns "brutal and deliberate" Barcelona terror attack

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-18 08:55:44|Editor: Song Lifang
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CANBERRA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government on Friday condemned the "brutal and deliberate" terror attack in Spain's Barcelona which has left at least 16 people dead and more than 100 injured.

On Thursday evening, a van was deliberately driven into pedestrians and tourists in Barcelona's popular Las Ramblas tourist district, an attack which has been claimed by Islamic State (IS).

Speaking to the media on Friday morning, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia "stands with" the people of Barcelona in the wake of the attack, in which three Australians were also injured.

"The Australian government condemns this brutal and deliberate act clearly designed to harm tourists on holiday in Spain," Bishop told the press.

"The Australian government extends its deepest sorrow to the victims, their families and the people of Barcelona. We stand with the government of Spain in denouncing this appalling attack."

She said that one Australian woman, believed to be from New South Wales, is in hospital in a serious but stable condition, while two young men had advised us that they were affected, but they had gone back to their hotel and would seek medical assistance in the morning.

Also speaking on Friday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reiterated his government's commitment to "keeping Australians safe" at home.

"We are constantly focused on keeping Australians safe. There is no place for 'set and forget' on national security," Turnbull told the press.

"Every time there is an incident, whether it is abroad or at home, we learn from it and we continue to refine, advance and improve our ability to keep Australians safe."

"There are no guarantees, of course, but our agencies are the best in the world."

Turnbull added that a report on how to best protect crowded places such as sporting events, shopping centers and places of mass gathering had been completed and would be "released shortly" in time for the upcoming football finals to be held across Australia.