Barcelona remembers terrorist victims a year ago

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-17 23:56:27|Editor: yan
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BARCELONA, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Spain's Barcelona on Friday paid an emotive homage to the victims of the terrorist attacks a year ago, which claimed 16 lives and injured at least 130.

Hundres of people attended Friday's ceremony under the slogan of "Barcelona: City of Peace" held at the Plaza de Catalunya, close to Las Ramblas where Younes Abouyaaqoub killed 14 people when he drove a rented van down the packed street on Aug. 17, 2017.

Friday's tributes began with Catalan leader Quim Torra highlighting the commitment of the Catalan region against terrorist "brutality".

A delegation of victims and political figures then laid a floral tribute in Las Ramblas at the spot where Abouyaaqoub's van finally came to a halt, before the main ceremony in Plaza Catalunya, which was attended by important figures in Spain, including King Felipe VI and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Journalist Gemma Nierga read a speech in which she highlighted the work of the emergency services a year ago, while a fragment of John Donne's poem "No Man is an Island" was read in eight languages, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, German, Italian and Dutch, to reflect the mother tongues of the victims.

A choir of 50 local schoolchildren then sang four songs at the ceremony.

It is now thought that the terrorist cell behind the Aug. 17 attack had originally intended to attack FC Barcelona's Camp Nou Stadium, as well as the Sagrada Familia church, a nightclub and sites in the nearby town of Sitges. However, they were forced to alter their plans after an explosion at the house where they were preparing their bombs killed two cell members.

The attacker Abouyaaqoub was found and shot by police four days after the attack. Four others are currently in preventive custody awaiting trial.