By Jacinta Payne
ISIS have reportedly claimed responsibility for a terror attack in Spain that has left 16 reported dead, and hundreds injured.
A van has ploughed into pedestrians at Las Ramblas, a popular tourist street in Barcelona, in an attack similar to London earlier this year and Nice, France last year.
Witnesses report seeing the van mount the pedestrian area, and continue down Las Ramblas appearing to aim for pedestrians while accelerating. People fled for cover in nearby shops and businesses to avoid the attack.
A potential second attack was stopped in the coastal town of Cambrils approximately 120km south of Barcelona, with five suspects wearing explosive belts shot by police. Six civilians and a police officer were injured in the confrontation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed there are eight Australians impacted in the attack including four injured, three who required consular support, and one currently unaccounted for. The injured Australians include two women from NSW, one who is stable but seriously injured and one who is in critical condition. There are two young men from Victoria who were injured, treated at hospital and discharged.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms these brutal and cowardly attacks, and in the case of Las Ramblas, clearly designed to harm and affect tourists who were visiting the area,” said Bishop.
This incident marks the most devastating attack since 2004 when 192 people were killed in attacks on commuter trains in Madrid.
Smart Traveller have updated the travel information for Spain to reflect the attack, but the official advice remains “exercise normal safety precautions.”