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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Spain attacks: Missing 7-year-old boy Julian Cadman confirmed dead

The boy who became the subject of a viral social media appeal is the latest confirmed victim of the Barcelona attack, as it is revealed a Muslim man helped save the life of his mother

Julian Alessandro Cadman, 7, was reported missing by his family following the Barcelona attack. Tony Cadman / Facebook
Julian Alessandro Cadman, 7, was reported missing by his family following the Barcelona attack. Tony Cadman / Facebook

The family of the seven-year-old boy who has been missing since the Barcelona terrorist attack has confirmed he has died.

Julian Alessandro Cadman was killed when extremists drove a van into a mass of tourists and locals on the city’s most famous street, Las Ramblas.

Julian, who holds both British and Australian citizenship, was walking with his mother, Jumarie, on Las Ramblas at the time of the attack. They became separated and although the mother was soon located in a nearby hospital in a serious but stable condition, no one had seen or heard from Julian in the aftermath.

The attack, the worst to hit Spain since the Madrid bombings more than a decade ago, has seen at least 13 die and scores wounded when attackers struck Barcelona on Thursday. In the early hours of the following morning, another vehicle attack took place in the coastal town of Cambrils, killing one woman. In total, 130 people have been injured.

Photos have appeared online that show a boy of a similar age and stature as Julian lying on the street at the scene of the attack. The boy is dressed in the same clothes Julian wore on his last day alive.

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Read more:

Spain attacks: More tragic details emerge about the dead and missing

Barcelona attack: Suspect Moussa Oukabir killed by police in Cambrils

Spaniards chant 'No Fear' in defiant memorial to the dead of Las Ramblas

Quiet seaside resort of Cambrils emerges from a terrifying night

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In one of the images, the boy lies face down, his body crumpled with a mop of brown hair half covering his bloodied face.

A British tourist named Harry Athwal found the boy alone on the floor. Speaking to the UK newspaper The Mirror, he said, “he was unconscious, his leg was bent the wrong way, there was blood coming out of his head, I knew it was more than blood”.

Mr Athwal checked for a pulse and was unable to find one.

“I put my hand on his back and I thought he had gone. I was stroking his hair and in floods of tears but I stayed with him, I sat there because I was not going to leave this child in the middle of the road... To me, he looked like my own son. He was my son’s age, seven or eight.”.

Nearby, Julian’s mother, was being helped by a Muslim man whose pharmacy floor became an improvised waiting area for the injured.

A police officer carried Jumarie into Fouad Bakkali’s shop and lay her on the floor alongside another injured woman, reports news.com.au.

“She was asking all the time about her little boy. She asked me ‘where is my son’. She told me he was seven years old,’’ said Mr Bakkali, who helped to keep her breathing until paramedics arrived.

Mr Bakkali said she appeared to be suffering two broken legs, a back injury and had a large wound on her head.

She is believed to be in an induced coma, unaware of her son’s fate.

His father, Australian resident Andrew Cadman, flew to Barcelona from Sydney to search for his son. When he landed he was taken to the justice centre, a forensic facility where the victims of the attack are being identified.

An image of Julian in his smart green uniform was shared by his grandfather on social media alongside a plea for people to help search for the child. It was taken down before it Julian’s death was announced.

As the tragic news was confirmed his family said they would "remember his smiles and hold his memory dear to our hearts".

In a statement, they said: “Julian was a much loved and adored member of our family. As he was enjoying the sights of Barcelona with his mother, Julian was sadly taken from us. He was so energetic, funny and cheeky, always bringing a smile to our faces. We are so blessed to have had him in our lives and will remember his smiles and hold his memory dear to our hearts”.

The family thanked those who helped search for Julian and recognised the other families who have been impacted by the events, saying “our prayers and thoughts are with all people affected”.

Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary, tweeted to say, “I send my sincerest sympathies to the family of Julian Cadman and all those who loved him. His death is a tragedy”.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are assisting the family of an Australian-British child who was killed in the Barcelona terrorist attack. His family have our deepest sympathies at this very difficult time. Our staff are doing all they can to support them, working with our Australian colleagues and the Spanish authorities."

Speaking before the announcement of Julian’s death, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked Australians take a moment to pray for the young boy, adding that his thoughts were with the family as they waited for answers.

"I think we should all in our quiet moments say a prayer for that little boy. All of us as parents know the anguish his father and his whole family is going through as they rush to seek to find him in Barcelona," Mr Turnbull said.

The day after the attack, far-right activists clashed with hundreds of anti-fascist protesters during a march through the streets of Barcelona.

Online, far-right activists have hijacked images of the young boy believed to be Julian.

They lost little time in photoshopping pictures of the small child prone on the floor to appear next to the iconic image of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who washed up on the Turkish shore in Bodrum in September 2, 2015

In one version, the words, written in Spanish, “They asked you to share this” were layered over the image of Alan, while the words “they asked you to hide this” were on the image from Barcelona. Across both images the creator had written “Why?”

Other users wrote online that they too felt the death of the young child was being treated differently and in a way they were unhappy with.

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