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Barcelona and Cambrils terror attacks leave 14 dead

People holding a Catalan flag gather for a minute of silence in memory of the terrorist attacks victims in Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 

AT least 14 people have died in terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in Spain.

Five terrorists wearing fake suicide belts were later killed by police following the attacks, while three suspects are in custody.

One of the five terrorists killed in Cambrils could have been the driver of the van which killed 13 people in Barcelona, police said.

People in the Catalonia capital described running for their lives after a suspected Islamist terrorist drove a van into crowds through the tourist hot spot of Las Ramblas. So far, 13 people are believed to have died.

Spanish nationals in Belfast sign the book of condolence at City Hall for victims of the attacks 

In the seaside town of Cambrils - the scene of a second attack in the early hours of Friday, around 70 miles (113km) west along the coast from Barcelona - Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont said the five terrorists shot by police in Cambrils after a car ploughed into pedestrians. The terrorists were wearing fake suicide belts when they were stopped and police linked them to the earlier Barcelona attack.

This morning Catalonian authorities said a woman who was critically injured in the Cambrils attack had died.

Some 130 people from 34 different nationalities were injured in the attacks, emergency services have revealed.

A fourth person has been arrested in connection with the two attacks. 

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Mr Puigdemont told local radio there was at least one "terrorist still out there", but that "we don't have information regarding the capacity to do more harm".

There were also reports that investigators believe the eight-strong terror cell may have been planning an attack using gas canisters.

Terrorist group Islamic State last night claimed responsibility for the deadly Las Ramblas attack.

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Seven people, including a police officer, were injured in the incident in Cambrils.

Bystanders ran for their lives as gunfire broke out close to the coastal town's beachfront promenade, while residents of the popular tourist spot were ordered to take cover indoors as bullets tore through the air.

Fitzroy Davies, from Wolverhampton, was caught up in the second attack and described how police shot dead one of the attackers.

He told the BBC he was in Spain for a judo camp and was in a meeting with the coaches when the incident unfolded.

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"These girls ran into the bar off the street and then people were running up the road," he said.

"One of our guys stood up, looked and just said 'run', so we all ran.

"This guy came running up the road and was shouting something.

"I didn't know what it was, so we said call the police.

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"Within 30 seconds the police was already there, jumped out of the car, started shouting at the guy; the guy was then saying something else again.

"And then they - 'pop, pop' - did a couple of shots and he fell down.

"He stood back up and then he stepped over the fence and he started, he was taunting, smiling and he carried on walking to the police, and then they gave it to him again, a couple more shots and then he fell to the ground."

Mr Davies told Sky News one of his associates at the camp was "slightly injured" after a bullet "ricocheted", and suggested the suspect had been "laughing" at police before he was taken down.

Several controlled blasts were carried out in the area in the wake of the attacks.

Mossos, Catalonia's police force, said four of the attackers were shot dead at the scene and later confirmed a fifth had died of his injuries.

Reports in Spain suggested detectives were investigating a possible cell of eight people thought to have been involved in planning the attacks.

Two suspects, a Spanish national from Melilla and a Moroccan, were taken into custody in the wake of the attack. A third was arrested later and a fourth this morning.

It has not been confirmed if the Barcelona van driver, who fled the carnage, is among them.

A Belgian was among the dead in Las Ramblas, Belgium's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said last night.

Dublin-based journalist Alana Fearon, from Camlough, Co Armagh, was in the Las Ramblas area when the attack happened.

"All we heard was sirens and lots of people shouting," she told RTÉ.

"Up to 13 police vans with riot police came past us...we started to get really, really panicked and all of a sudden a police car came up and a policeman was leaning out the window with a megaphone shouting 'indoors, indoors'."

Ms Fearon said she sheltered in a restaurant while police dealt with the aftermath of the attack.

Catalonia has declared three days of mourning.

Politicians from across Ireland have condemned the killings.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar offered his support and solidarity with the people of Spain.

"An attack of this nature, targeting the people of Barcelona and visitors enjoying that wonderful city in the height of the tourist season, is both wanton and cowardly and has no place in our society," he said.

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

"My thoughts are with the victims in #Barcelona and those standing up for law and order," she tweeted.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood also extended his condolences to the victims.

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