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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Spain attacks: Fourth suspect arrested as police launch manhunt for teen van driver

Moussa Oukabir named by media as the suspect who mowed down dozens of people at the wheel of a rented van in Barcelona

Spanish authorities have identified Moussa Oukabir, 18, as the van driver in the Las Ramblas terror attack. Photo via Kiwi.qa
Spanish authorities have identified Moussa Oukabir, 18, as the van driver in the Las Ramblas terror attack. Photo via Kiwi.qa

Spanish police hunting for Moroccan teenager Moussa Oukabir, the suspected driver of the van that killed 13 people on Las Ramblas, have arrested a fourth person in connection with the twin attacks on Barcelona and the coastal town of Cambrils, police said yesterday.

“We have arrested a fourth person related to the events that occurred in the last hours,” said the Catalan authorities in a tweet. The identity of the person arrested was not given.

Moussa Oukabir, 18, is the younger brother of Driss Oukabir whose documents were used to hire the van used in the deadly attack. Driss reportedly turned himself in to police in the town of Ripoll, some 100 kilometres north of Barcelona.

Spanish media reported that Driss told police that he had nothing to do with the attack and that his younger brother had stolen his documents. A nationwide alert was put out to all police forces, which said they could go armed if they were approaching Oukabir, according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

It said that police were not certain that the teenager was the driver, who was seen putting on a cap and fleeing after driving almost the full length of Las Ramblas leaving more than 100 injured from 34 different countries.

Moussa Oukabir described himself as a “street boy” from Barcelona on a social media site attributed to the teenager, which was last accessed two years ago, Spanish media reported.

Asked on the question and answer site who what he would do on his first day as absolute ruler of the world, Moussa Oukabir replied: “Kill all infidels. I just let Muslims follow the religion.”

Hours after the Barcelona attacks, police shot dead five people in the seaside resort of Cambrils after they mowed down pedestrians in a car but have not released any names of the alleged terrorists. The authorities confirmed that a woman has died from her injures in that attack that left at least six others injured.

One of the suspects fell on the floor after shots rang out but got up after a few seconds and walked towards a police car laughing, a witness told Sky News. Further shots rang out and the suspect was killed, mobile phone footage showed.

Two men, including Driss Oukabir, were arrested in Ripoll, while one person has been arrested in Alcanar, 200 kilometres southwest along the coast from Barcelona. Cambrils lies half way between Alcanar and Barcelona.

One person was killed in an explosion last week at a house in Alcanar that police have linked to events in Barcelona and Cambrils. Detectives discovered 20 gas canisters in the ruins of the suspected bomb-making factory.

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