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Suspected van driver in Barcelona attack 'shot down' by police

Armed police patrol Las Ramblas following the terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish police have also killed five suspected terrorists in the town of Cambrils to stop a second terrorist attack.
Armed police patrol Las Ramblas following the terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish police have also killed five suspected terrorists in the town of Cambrils to stop a second terrorist attack.
Carl Court/Getty Images

Catalan police say they have "shot down" Younes Abouyaaqoub, the alleged driver of a van that plowed into pedestrians last week in Barcelona. Authorities say he appeared to have been wearing a belt with explosives.

In a tweet in English, Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalan police force, said they confirmed that Abouyaaqoub, who they described as the "author of the terrorist attack in #barcelona" had been "shot down" in Subirats, a town just west of Barcelona on Spain's Mediterranean resort coast. An earlier tweet from Mossos d'Esquadra said he had been "shot dead," but it was quickly deleted.

Abouyaaqoub, 22, was the last of a dozen suspects still sought in the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.

The Catalan police force responded Monday after several citizens in the town of Subirats reported a suspicious individual who fit the description of Abouyaaqoub, according to Catalan radio Cadena Ser.

Mossos d'Esquadra tweeted in English: "The suspicious man in Subirats wears what looks like a belt of explosives attached to the body. This man has been shot down." In a subsequent tweet, in Catalan, police said they were using a robot to approach the scene.

Police had accounted for all suspects in last week's attacks except Abouyaaqoub, who has been the subject of an extensive days-long manhunt. He was believed to have been the driver of a van that smashed into pedestrians at the Las Ramblas promenade in Barcelona on Thursday, killing 13 people there.

Hours after that attack, another person was killed in a separate car-ramming in the seaside resort of Cambrils.

Four people have been arrested in the attacks, three Moroccans and a Spanish citizen. The remaining seven members of what authorities have described as a jihadist cell are believed to have been killed.

On Monday, authorities said that while fleeing the scene of his initial attack, Abouyaaqoub hijacked a car and stabbed to death its occupant. That brings the total number of people killed as a result of last Thursday's attacks to 15.

This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported early may turn out to be inaccurate. We'll move quickly to correct the record and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time.