Spanish police confirm terrorist cell dismantled; but investigation not over

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-22 03:37:26|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BARCELONA, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Police in Spain on Monday confirmed that the 12-member terror cell behind the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils which left 15 people dead has been disarticulated with four terrorists arrested and eight killed.

Catalonia police made the announcement at a press conference on Monday evening after they had shot and killed Younes Abouyaaqoub, the suspected driver of Thursday's deadly Barcelona van.

Abouyaaqoub was shot at around 17:00 hours in the town of Subirats, which is around 50 kilometers to the southwest of Barcelona.

"We confirm that the man shot down in #Surirats is Younes Abouyaaqoub, author of the terrorist attack in #Barcelona," Catalan police tweeted.

Abouyaaqoub, 22, was shot at around 17:00 hours in the town of Subirats, around 50 kilometers to the southwest of Barcelona. He was wearing a fake explosive belt, according to Spain's anti-terrorist sources.

"So far there are 4 detainees and 8 suspected dead terrorists regarding the attacks of #Barcelona and #Cambrils," Catalan police tweeted.

"The 12 initial targets regarding the attacks are dead or detained but that does not mean that the investigation is over. We keep working," they confirmed.

Two members of the cell died on Wednesday night in an explosion in the house in Alcanar, where they were preparing a major attack using two vans and over 50 butane gas cylinders.

In the early hours of Friday morning, five terrorists were shot by police (four by the same agent) as they carried out the attack in Cambrils. The other four were arrested and are in police custody.

The police operation against Younes Abouyaaqoub began at 16:00 local time after Catalan police had "received information of a suspicious person in Subirats".

A woman living in Subirats called the police to inform that she had seen a man with features similar to that of a wanted terrorist, Spanish media reported.

Earlier in the day, Catalan interior minister Joaquin Forn confirmed on Catalan local radio that Abouyaaqoub was the "the driver of the van" which ploughed into crowds of people on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, killing 13 and injuring over 120 others.

Images taken from CCTV showed Abouyaaqoub wearing a polo shirt and sunglasses and walking through the La Boqueria Market, close to where the van ended up following Thursday's attacks, moments after the incident.

He then traveled to a university area on the other side of Barcelona where 90 minutes later he stabbed 35 year-old Pau Perez to death and stole his Ford Focus car, which he then used to evade a police checkpoint and was able to complete his escape.

It had been thought the 22-year-old could have left Spain, but finally he was discovered and shot not far from where he committed his crime.