tv DW News PBS August 17, 2017 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
♪ ♪ >> this is dw news live from berlin. spanish officials say that 12 people large and has more than 80 injured after a terrorist attack in barcelona. >> people were running and screaming. they told us we should stay inside and they didn't know what was going on. >> a van plowed into the vestry and in the famous las ramblas street in the city center. the so-called islamic state has
claimed responsibility. we will have details as part of our extended coverage. ♪ >> i am sarah kelly. thank you for joining us. your joining us for special coverage of breaking news from barcelona. the so-called islamic state claim responsibility for a vehicle attack that has left 12 people dead and 80 injured. the attack happened in the famous las ramblas street in the city center. a white van plowed into a street of pedestrians. police shot and killed a man in a car at a traffic blockade in barcelona. it is unclear if those events
are connected. we are joined in the studio by our correspondent. we had in the field our journalists. i will begin with you because the situation has been very fluid this evening. bring us up to date. >> i could say right now in the last little while things have become more calm. i was outside a few minutes ago and it was very quiet. i'm one flow muncher -- i am one flaw matter from --there are no people in the street, it is now night time. 10:00 p.m. local time. usually at this time of evening, you have people in the street. spaniards are famous for eating
very late. the situation has become -- no big news in the last minute. one of the suspects was named earlier as driss oukabir. his documents were found. this person has turned himself in in a town not far from barcelona. he claims his documents were stolen and he had nothing to do with this. local politicians, national politicians have been issuing public statements. there will be a lot of silence in barcelona.
in the government square there will be a moment of silence and silence imagery it --silence in madrid. >> the people of spain remembering their dead. plans underway. what is the mood in the city? >> it is quite low. people did not think something like this could happen here. in a way we knew it could happen anywhere but it was more of a theory. people felt safe here. locals and tourists alike.
i have been seeing images from las ramblas. these are spots that are completely overcrowded by tourists. no one was thinking something could happen. these places are now completely empty. it looks unreal. it looks like a movie or something. it difficult to believe this kind of attack could happen here. it has been a real shock. >> surely the authorities must haveeen preparing for something like this. we have seen attacks like this before in europe. was there a sense of eventuality that it might hit barcelona as ll? i do t think so the authorities must have been aware of the risks and i hope
they had planned accordingly. you could see a high presence of police in the city of barcelona, mostly in the tourist hotspots and sometimes wearing police weapons, big weapons that were visible. it was not that useful to see -- usual to see here in spain. by now it has become more normal. there is this thought in your mind that things could happen but it could happen anywhere. i have been talking to people in france, i have friends in london. there people could -- they were
feeling more at risk. once you came back to barcelona, you could feel in the atmosphere, it was not in the conversation, this attack happening here. it was not much in people's minds. it was something theoretical. >> thank you very much for your reporting. a quick update, we learned a driver ran over two police at a barcelona checkpoint. police are saying a bomb squad is checking that area in barcelona near where that driver struck police. i'm joined in the video by our correspondent. a couple of weeks ago you were in barcelona.
tell us about where the attack took place and toss about these checkpoints? >> i was in barcelona on saturday evening. it is not common at all. this was put in place following the attack we saw in las ramblas this evening. the police gave chase to this man who was driving a white ford focus car a he s shotead, that's according to the media reports, in a suburb of barcelona. what we are also seeing is the regional police are saying they detained two people in relation to this attack. that was about 15 minutes ago that they released to that attack. --that they released information
on that attack. official sources have been condemning these attacks, saying spain is a peaceful place. this is going to change our way of life. wehas been on terrorist alert -- we know spain has been on terrorist alert. imagery it -- in madrid and barcelona you would see regional police with guns on the street. this was happening in other countries and now spain joins this list. sarah: we do not know if the checkpoint incident and the van attack are connected. we have a lot of information
coming in. you are talking about catalonia being a relatively peaceful area, it was not always so? >> catalonia has always been peaceful. we have seen terrorism in spain but a different kind. we saw the basque terrorism which mainly affected that region. one or two incidents in barcelona. there was a big terrorist attack in the 1980's in a department store which was one of the worst terrorist attack on spanish soil. the last time we saw an islamic attack was imagery it in 2004 when 196 people were killed in an attack carried out on a commuter train during rush hour.
that shocked spain to its core. but people forget, that was 13 years ago. we are seeing this now on spanish soil in a very enigmatic place for europeans. it is las ramblas, everyone knows it. it is a big shopping area, full of buses, metro lines, people milling about. dozens of people were caught up in this attack. sarah: the similarity with the attack where 200 people were killed. it is clear these terrorists wanted to bring about mass casualties. that map showing the city of barcelona. >> in the circle that is
catalunya square. if anyone knows berlin it is like the alexander flava. -- berlin, it is like theza. if you're looking at that circle, it is like a clock. at 5:30, there is a road that goes down and that is las ramblas. las ramblas goes all the way down to the port. if anyone has been to barcelona, las ramblas is like a boulevard. on either side of the boulevard you have slow moving traffic. on the boulevard, cafes, plenty of people walking about. the fact that this person zig za
gged down the street, it is horrific. sarah: one has to think of nice, france. another wonderful city, now a victim of terrorism. as we see with many of these attacks, many eyewitnesses using social media to share that information. connor, you have been filtering through this information. tell us more. >> at this point it is late in barcelona. some old footage that has yet to be verified still circulating on social media. this video that ports to show -- purports to show someone being arrested by police. to any social media users, be
careful and suspicious when people circulate this footage or images before they have been confirmed by media outlets. we are watching a couple of islamic state experts analyzing the information coming across on encrypted channels. this man was one of the first to take a look at their channels and show islamic state was taking credit for this attack in barcelona. some of the footage that came in earlier today, this was one of the first videos we came across. you see a stampede after the attack took legs. --took place. people running in all directions.
some other footage that has come in. this is the aftermath of the attack when authorities had arrived and they are taking care of some of the eventual death some of the --they are taking care of some of the individuals. here is the first video footage showing the vehicle involved in the attack. that white van severely damaged. this appears to be the video involved in the attack. just horrific footage coming in. this reminder posted by the u.s. consulate for americans, if you are safe, notify your friends and loved ones.
facebook has made this very easy. this just takes a second, login, click the button and let people know you are safe. one interesting thing that is happening online. the attempts to block any information about this attack from being posted live on social media. we saw this in belgium, we thought this -- we saw this, people are trying to flood social media so if a perpetrator is using social media to get live updates, that information would be difficult to find. president trump first expressed his fear condolences and said the u.s. --his sincere
condolences, then he said observe what general pershing did after a terrorist attack, there was no terror attacks for the next many years. this was about a general who dipped bullets in pig's blood as a means on controlling a level of rising by -- a local uprising by a local muslim population, and to other tweets. a spokesman for the german chancellor, he said we are thinking with profound sadness of the victims with solidarity
and friendship alongside the spanish people. prime minister theresa may says my thoughts are with the victims in barcelona. the u.k. stands with spain against terror. another tweet, from the spanish prime minister, he has been very direct saying i'm in touch with the authorities. he composed this, he has posted updates saying he is going to barcelona and will continue updating his actions. this tweet from barcelona, deeply saddened by the attack on our city. lots of nice messages coming in. now that it is evening, some
messages posted on social media saying if you're stuck in barcelona, people are opening their homes and saying come sleep on our sofa or bed. sarah: similar situation occurring in other cities. a new normal in europe. thank you for your reporting. we are joined now by our correspondent in barcelona who witnessed some of the events unfolding. tell us about your experience, we understand you were traveling in a car with your two young children. what did you see earlier today? >> i was in the car with my children, my niece and my father. we were quite close to the city center. we suddenly saw police cars running down the streets and
suddenly we all stopped, we heard people screaming and the police asking the cars to stop. there were four passengers in the car. we continued home. they closed off some streets. it was not so easy to get home. that was the situation we saw. there were many people shocked and scared. no one knew what was going on. we found out later on social media and the news. sarah: and that moment -- in that moment, did you have a sense of the gravity of what this may have been and how were people reacting? >> in that moment i said to my father is not normal.
this is not something used ian barcelona. -- this is not something you see in barcelona. many people were scared, checking their telephone, we received calls after that and people are basically in shock. we got a lot of confusing information from the media and local police. at the beginning they said there was one casualty, the media was saying 13 dead. sarah: this is your city, your home, how are you feeling tonight? >> i am raising my children in berlin. i am here visiting my family. i am scared, i did not think
something like this would happen here. i did not want to live thinking something like this could happen. i'm scared for my family, for my children and my friends. sarah: tell us more about the area, las ramblas, where this attack happened. what would be the atlas here -- what would be the atmosphere on a typical afternoon? >> i was there last week with my father and my children. we had a nice walk. it is the main avenue for tourism. it is a happy street. i never imagined something like this would happen. i don't think anybody was walking down the street thinking something like this could
happen. in the past two or three days i felt some police cars stopping people -- i saw some police cars stopping people. that made me wonder if something was going on. but maybe it had nothing to do with the incident today. sarah: that is interesting, you wonder if perhaps they had information. what do you think this means for barcelona as a city? >> you have to think barcelona is a cosmopolitan city. we have people from all around the world living here. south americans, chinese people, people from all over the globe. we do not know what is going to happen. we hope we can build the
security we had again. the mayor of barcelona was telling the population to stay together and tomorrow at 12:00 there's going to be one minute of silence for the victims. people are very scared. we have received messages on social media, some people telling us there will be another terrorist attack in another neighborhood in barcelona. we do not know. it is all very confusing. we cannot confirm the information we are receiving. sarah: we know you have been through a harrowing experience. thank you for taking the time to tell us more about it. your hometown, parcel owner, affected by the stereotype --
barcelona, affected by this terrorist attack. we know a large van crashed into a crowd of people at the plaza catalunya. two suspects have been arrested. the so-called islamic state group has claimed responsibility. the crash happened in las ramblas, a district in the city center popular with tourists. let's get some reaction now from our correspondent who are joining us. you are a security expert. you know quite a lot about these extremist groups like the
so-called islamic state which we now know has claimed responsibility for this attack. were you surprised to hear that? >> not at all, we have seen these attacks in london, in nice, all these attacks were perpetrated by the islamic state. otherwise there is not a lot of information. sarah: why barcelona and why now? we know other european capitals, they are a little bit more on the radar, life they -- why spain? >> normally there are two factors influencing whether a country is hit by islamic state. first, it is a strategic decision. france, germany and britain have
been priority targets. second is the number of people who joined i.s. not many people have joined the jihadist seen in spain but it was strong in barcelona. if there was an attack in spain, it was likely it would be in barcelona. it was logical, if something happens, it will be barcelona. sarah: we are going to a break, thank you to our viewers for watching. ♪
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