Barcelona attack: Van ploughs into crowd in Spanish city

Injured people are treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. (AP Photo/Oriol Duran)

Injured people are treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. (AP Photo/Oriol Duran)

Two Australians reported injured

Two Australians have reportedly been hurt in the Barcelona attack.

Melbourne radio station 3AW has reported that the two men live in Melbourne's western suburbs.

7:15am: There has been an explosion in a house in the Catalonia region connected to the Barcelona van attack, a Catalan police official has said.

One person was killed in the explosion with more details to come.

7:11am Barcelona death toll revised to 13

The government in Spain's Catalonia region has revised the death toll from the van attack in Barcelona back up to 13.

A senior police official said the attack was "clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible".

Fifteen 15 people were seriously injured in the attack at the central Las Ramblas district, 23 were moderately wounded and 42 people suffered minor injuries.

The injured are being cared for at various hospitals.

Catalonia's regional president, Carles Puigdemont, told Barcelona broadcaster TV3: "Our priority is to save lives. And our second priority is the police investigation, to find the people responsible of this attack and anyone who has helped them directly or indirectly."

Police officers stand next to the van involved on an attack in Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. A white van jumped up onto a sidewalk and sped down a pedestrian zone Thursday in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district, swerving from side to side as it plowed into tourists and residents. Police said 13 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in what they called a terror attack. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Police officers stand next to the van involved on an attack in Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. A white van jumped up onto a sidewalk and sped down a pedestrian zone Thursday in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district, swerving from side to side as it plowed into tourists and residents. Police said 13 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in what they called a terror attack. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

7:09am City of light goes dark

Authorities in Paris will switch off the lights at the Eiffel Tower to pay tribute to the 12 dead and 80 injured in the Barcelona terrorism attack.

France has suffered a number of horrifying incidents including the 2016 Nice attack in which 87 people died and the 2015 Paris attacks which killed 130 people.

7:02am Malcolm Turnbull condemns attack

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has condemned the attack on innocent people in Barcelona's tourist district.

Mr Turnbull tweeted Australia's support for the victims and their families.

6:51am: One of the world's great cities, Barcelona is a leading tourist destination with 32 million visitors each year.

If any Australians are concerned about family and friends they know to be in Barcelona and unable to contact them they should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135 or +61 2 6261 3305 if overseas.

It is not yet known if any Australians are among the 12 dead and 80 injured.

6:45am: Influential Islamic scholar Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi has denounced the terror attack, calling on Muslims to do more to address radical views within their communities.

The scholar regarded as one of the world's most influential Muslims described ISIS as a "group of terrorists with sick minds and dead hearts."

ISIS has taken responsibility for the attack.

6:21am Suspect Oukabir known to police

The man who allegedly hired the van, Driss Oukabir, spent time in prison in Figueres, Catalonia, being released in 2012.

Anti-terrorism sources told El Pais that Oukabir arrived in Barcelona from Morocco on August 13.

Police have been identifying his associates in a bid to work out who was behind the terror attack.

Oukabir was known to have spent time in Madrid this year and police are investigating what he did when he was there.

6:08am: Two suspects arrested over attack

Two men have been arrested over the van attack which killed at least 13 people in the heart of Barcelona's tourist district.

Carles Puigdemont, the president of Spain's Catalonia region, confirmed the arrests after the attack on Thursday, local time.

One of the men arrested has been identified as Maghrebi Driss Oukabir, and is alleged to have hired the van.

Police are still trying to identify how many attackers were involved.

6:03am: 'A disaster area'

More eyewitness accounts of the attack are coming through with Albert Tort, a 47-year-old nurse who lives on la Rambla telling El Pais: "What I saw was a disaster area. I counted at least six dead, I tried to revive a young man, but it was impossible."

Tourist Ellen Vercamm said: "We heard the crash of the white van as it ran into people. We saw people flying through the air after they were hit."

5:34am: Driver knocks down two police officers

Catalan police say at 7.24pm - about two hours after the attack at Las Ramblas - a driver knocked down two police officers. They say they have located the vehicle but it's not clear if the incident is related to the earlier attack.

BREAKING - 12 dead, 80 injured. ISIS claims responsibility

Catalonia's regional head says the death toll has risen to 12 and 80 are injured. 

Two people have been arrested. 

Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

The story Barcelona attack: Van ploughs into crowd in Spanish city first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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