Barcelona terror attack: Two suspects arrested and one man killed in explosion after 12 people die in Las Ramblas van attack

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Two suspects have been arrested after a van ploughed into pedestrians leaving 12 people dead and 80 injured during a terror attack in Barcelona.

The white Ford Transit van mowed down crowds on Las Ramblas just after 5pm local time.

Police confirmed that 12 people were dead and 80 had been injured, 15 seriously.

Two suspects have been arrested over the rampage but neither is believed to have been driving the van involved, the president of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont said. 

One of the two men arrested was Moroccan and the other was from the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa. They were arrested in two different towns in the region of Catalonia, Ripoll and Alcanar, police said.

A third man was killed in an explosion in Alcanar believed to be linked to the attack in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Police also launched a hunt for French resident Driss Oukarbir who is believed to have hired the white transit van used in the attack.

Driss Oukabir is believed to have rented the van used in the attack (Facebook)

A police spokesman said soldiers shot and killed another man who ran over two traffic officers at a traffic blockade in Barcelona but this is not believed to have been linked to the attack.

The spokesman also dismissed reports that two armed men were holed up in a bar in the city and were keeping hostages.

Officers treat an injured victim in Barcelona

Terrified witnesses reported hearing gunfire in the La Boqueria market area of the city while a second van linked to an attack had been found in the small town of Vic in Catalonia, local authorities there said on Twitter.

A taxi driver who witnessed the attack, Oscar Cano, told TV3 the van jumped onto the central pedestrian area at a high speed and swerved from side to side. 

In photographs and videos, at least five people could be seen lying on the ground in the street being helped by police and others. Other video recorded people screaming as they fled the van. 

Onlookers flee the scene of the crash in Barcelona (EPA)

Keith Fleming, an American who lives in Barcelona, was watching TV in his building just off Las Ramblas when he heard a noise and went out to his balcony. 

“I saw women and children just running and they looked terrified,” he said.  

He added that regular police had their guns drawn and riot police were at the end of his block, which was soon deserted. 

“It’s just kind of a tense situation,” he said. “Clearly, people were scared.” 

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