Death Toll Rises in Las Ramblas Attack

Police officers stand next to the van involved on an attack in Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain
Police officers stand next to the van involved on an attack in Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain. // Photo by AP Photo/Manu Fernandez via Newscred

At least 13 people have been killed and 80 injured after a van drove through a crowd of pedestrians in the popular tourist area of Las Ramblas in Barcelona.

CNN reports that police have sealed off the area and are treating the incident as an act of terrorism. Additionally, all public events in the city have been cancelled, and metro and train stations in the area are closed.

According to the New York Times, police are requesting that travelers avoid the area near Las Ramblas and Plaza de Cataluna. Taxis have been reportedly giving free rides to help people get out of the city center, and public transit is free in areas where it is still operating.

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Business Insider reports that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, although authorities have yet to confirm a link. Police have said that they have two suspects in custody in connection with the attack. Police also dismissed earlier reports that two armed men had barricaded themselves in a bar near the crash site as rumors, although officers are reportedly still conducting door-to-door searches in the area.

The incident is similar to a number of vehicular terrorist attacks that have struck Europe recently, including an attack on London Bridge, as well as attacks in France, Germany, Britain and elsewhere.

Europe is currently under a travel alert from the U.S. State Department warning American citizens that terrorist continue to target tourist attractions, transit hubs, markets and shopping areas, and other soft targets. The alert is set to continue through the summer travel season, expiring September 1.

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for further updates to this developing story. 

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