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Terrorists Again Using Vehicles to Carry Out Attacks


People gather at a memorial tribute of flowers, messages and candles to the victims on Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas promenade on the Joan Miro mosaic, embedded in the pavement where the van stopped after killing at least 13 people in Barcelona , Spain, Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)


Once again, terrorists have used vehicles to carry out deadly attacks – this time in Spain.

At least 14 people were killed in two attacks in different areas. More than 100 others were injured.

On Thursday, a van struck a crowd on a busy street in the Spanish city of Barcelona. The attack took place on Las Ramblas, a road leading from the center of the city to the coast. The area, which has many stores and restaurants, was filled with people enjoying a summer day.

Police said the driver of the vehicle fled on foot.

The second attack happened early Friday about 130 kilometers south of Barcelona in the seaside town of Cambrils. Attackers drove a passenger car into a crowd, killing one person and injuring at least five others.

Police officers speak near an overturned car at the spot where terrorists were intercepted by police in Cambrils, Spain, Aug. 18, 2017.
Police officers speak near an overturned car at the spot where terrorists were intercepted by police in Cambrils, Spain, Aug. 18, 2017.

Police said they killed five attackers after the incident in Cambrils. Spanish officials said it appeared the attackers had explosives tied to their bodies, but the bombs turned out to be fake.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the latest violence.

Officials said at least four suspects – three Moroccans and a Spaniard – were arrested.

One of the arrests was made in Alcanar, a town south of Barcelona. Police said one person was killed in an explosion at a home there on Wednesday. The area is being studied for possible links to the other attacks. Police reportedly believe people at the home may have been “preparing an explosive device.”

King Felipe of Spain, center, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, center left, and Catalonia regional President Carles Puigdemont, center right, join people gathered for a minute of silence in memory of the terrorist attacks victims in Barcelona, Spain.
King Felipe of Spain, center, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, center left, and Catalonia regional President Carles Puigdemont, center right, join people gathered for a minute of silence in memory of the terrorist attacks victims in Barcelona, Spain.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the latest attacks showed that the fight against terrorists is a “global battle.” He noted that, in his opinion, terrorism is Europe's biggest problem.

The killings in Spain followed several deadly attacks in Europe in recent years, several of which also involved vehicles.

In June, three attackers drove a van into people walking on the London Bridge. The attackers then stabbed people in nearby bars. A total of eight people were killed and more than 40 others injured.

A photo issued by the Metropolitan Police, London, and made available, June 10, 2017, shows the van used in the London Bridge attacks of June 3.
A photo issued by the Metropolitan Police, London, and made available, June 10, 2017, shows the van used in the London Bridge attacks of June 3.

Another attack in London took place in March near Britain’s parliament. In that incident, a car struck people walking on Westminster Bridge. Five people were killed and over 20 others injured. One of the dead was a policeman, who had been stabbed.

In April, attackers used a truck to kill five people in Stockholm, Sweden.

In December 2016, another truck drove into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 12.

The damaged towing truck is towed away from the crime scene in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, the day after the truck ran into a crowded Christmas market.
The damaged towing truck is towed away from the crime scene in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, the day after the truck ran into a crowded Christmas market.

Five months earlier, an attacker drove a large truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice. Eighty-six people were killed.

Police officers, firefighters and rescue workers are seen at the site of an attack on July 15, 2016, after a truck drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice.
Police officers, firefighters and rescue workers are seen at the site of an attack on July 15, 2016, after a truck drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice.

A vehicle also was used last weekend to attack protesters in the American city of Charlottesville, Virginia. A man described by a former teacher as a supporter of the American Nazi Party drove his car into the crowd. One woman was killed in the attack. Two Virginia state policemen responding to the violence died in a helicopter crash.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. His report was based on stories from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

fake – adj. not real, false

bar n. place where people go to socialize and drink

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