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    People wait to enter the area after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017

    Terror Cell Behind Barcelona Attack Dismantled - Spanish Interior Ministry

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    Terrorist Attacks in Catalonia (107)

    The Spanish Interior Ministry said that the terrorist cell behind the Catalonia terrorist attacks has been dismantled.

    "We can say that the cell has been dismantled," Spain's Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said at the press conference after the meeting of the counterterrorism committee.

    According to Zoido, the investigators are checking whether the suspects had links to neighboring countries.

    The security alert in Spain is at the fourth level, 1 point below the highest terror threat level, after the deadly terrorist attacks, the Interior Ministry said.

    "We have decided not to raise the threat level to the maximum fifth, since after analyzing [the situation] we came to conclusion that there is no inevitable threat," Zoido said.

    Spain will step up security measures following the recent deadly attacks in Catalonia. The minister added that security measures would be stepped up in crowded areas.

    However, Catalan police cannot confirm the Spanish Interior Ministry's claim that the terror cell behind the recent van attacks in the region was dismantled, Albert Oliva, the spokesman of Catalan police, said later.

    "We will not disprove or confirm that. But Mossos d'Esquadra [Catalan police] is carrying out the investigation in coordination with Spanish National Police and Civil Guard," Oliva said.

    As soon as the cell is dismantled, the police will inform on the issue, Oliva added.

    Later in the day, a source in the Interior Affairs Council of the Catalan government told Sputnik that Spanish police are working on determining the location of three members of the terror cell behind Thursday's van attacks in the country's autonomous region of Catalonia.

    "The group included 12 individuals of whom five were killed in Cambrils, four have been detained. We now need to determine the location of the three left," the source said.

    Two of the suspects are believed to have died in a blast that razed their alleged bomb-making lab in the coastal town of Alcanar early on Friday. The suspected driver of the van in the Barcelona attack had reportedly fled the scene on foot and is still on the run.

    According to media reports, Spanish police is searching for Moroccan national Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, considering him to be the perpetrator of the Barcelona van attack.

    On Thursday, a van plowed into a crowd of pedestrians on Las Ramblas street in Barcelona, killing 14 people and injuring more than 100 others, in what police said was an act of terrorism.

    Hours after the incident, another vehicle attack took place in the coastal town of Cambrils, south of Barcelona, killing one and injuring five civilians as well as a police officer.

    Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

    Terrorist Attacks in Catalonia (107)


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