A group of Tipperary people were in Barcelona close to Las Ramblas when a crazed terrorist drove a van into a crowd of people, killing 13 and injuring 100 people, the Tipperary Star has learned.
The terrorist struck yesterday evening (August 17) in a busy tourist area, popular with international tourists.
The group from Tipperary are understood to be too shocked to comment to local media, but may do so on their return to Ireland next week.
Witnesses said the van deliberately targeted people, weaving from side to side, shortly after 5pm. Citizens of 24 countries were among those killed and injured.
Two men were arrested, including Driss Oukabir, who was initially suspected of being the driver, but police now say neither man was behind the wheel. A third man has since been arrested.
The attack was followed by an incident in nearby Cambrils, on the Spanish coast, early this morning (August 18) at around 1am, when Spanish police shot dead five suspected terrorists in a second vehicle attack. The men were linked to the Barcelona attack, police say.
Seven people, including a police officer, were wounded when the terrorists’ car drove into them, Catalan emergency services said. One person is in a critical condition, but the situation is said to be under control.
The men were wearing explosive belts, police said, and a series of controlled explosions was carried out.
Any Irish citizens caught up in the Spanish attacks can call the Irish Embassy to confirm they are safe. Tel: +34 914364093.
Irish people are being advised to stay away from the affected areas. President Michael D Higgins extended his condolences. "It was with great sadness that I learned of the tragic loss of life and the injuries that have taken place in Barcelona today.
"I have asked the Spanish Ambassador to convey my deepest condolences to the Government and people of Spain and to the Mayor of Barcelona.
"Barcelona has a long history of hospitality and has over the years received so many people from around the world.
"As President of Ireland I want to send the people of this great and welcoming city not only our sympathy but also the solidarity of the people of Ireland," added President Higgins.