PSNI issues safety advice to Northern Ireland residents in event of terror attack abroad

Irish President, Michael D Higgins condemned the attacks in Spain. Picture by Jane Barlow/PA Wire.
Marie Louise McConville

A FIVE year-old boy from the Republic is among the 100 or so people injured in the Barcelona terrorist attack.

Nathaniel Putot suffered a broken leg and his father Norman also sustained leg injuries and suspected internal injuries in Las Ramblas after a white Fiat van drove onto the pavement and into a crowd of people in the busy area on Thursday killing 13.

They are part of a family of four who were born in the Philippines but are naturalised Irish citizens and who were holidaying in Spain at the time of the attack. The couple's children Nathaniel and Pearl were both born in Ireland.

Mr Putot's wife Pederlita and daughter are understood to have escaped injury.

The Department of Foreign Affairs was last night said to be assisting the family.

President Michael D Higgins led condemnation of the attacks.

"Barcelona has a long history of hospitality and has over the years received so many people from around the world," he said.

"As President of Ireland, I want to send the people of this great and welcoming city not only our sympathy but also the solidarity of the people of Ireland."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earlier offered his support and solidarity with the people of Spain in the wake of the attack.

The atrocity was also condemned by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams who described it as a "despicable act of brutality".

DUP leader Arlene Foster described the incident as a "barbaric act".

Meanwhile the PSNI last night issued safety advice to Northern Ireland holidaymakers about what to do in the event of a firearm or weapons' attack abroad.

Barbara Gray, Assistant Chief Constable, said: "Police services across the UK work together on an ongoing basis to develop and improve our approach to countering terrorist attacks against our citizens both at home and abroad".

The latest advice includes running to a place of safety rather than surrendering or negotiating, hiding rather than confronting, and alerting police.

However, Assistant Chief Constable Gray added: "I would stress that the chance of becoming caught up in a terrorist incident remains low and that people should continue with their daily lives, enjoy their travels, but with this knowledge and advice in reserve, should it be required.

"A few minutes of your time is all it takes to arm yourself with the knowledge that could help keep you and your family safe."

**Anyone worried about an Irish national was urged to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs on 003531 408 2000. Alternatively the Irish Embassy in Madrid is also fielding calls on +34 9143 64093.

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