17/08/2017 World News Today


17/08/2017

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LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to BBC special coverage. We are staying just with

:00:07.:00:16.

this one news story here on BBC News. Because in the last few hours

:00:17.:00:20.

there has been a terrorist attack in Barcelona. Police say they are

:00:21.:00:25.

dealing with an ongoing situation. A van ploughed into pedestrians in one

:00:26.:00:30.

of the biggest -- busiest tourist areas of that Spanish city. So to

:00:31.:00:35.

confirm what we know at this stage, Spanish police confirming that at

:00:36.:00:40.

least one person has been killed and 32 injured. Ten of them are

:00:41.:00:46.

seriously injured. This happened on the map ready the tourist area of

:00:47.:00:50.

lab Ramblas. A major thoroughfare through the centre of the city. Over

:00:51.:01:01.

the last few hours when this is have been describing hundreds of people

:01:02.:01:04.

running down the streets. People have spoken to us who were hiding in

:01:05.:01:12.

shops. Spanish media is reporting that two armed men have been held up

:01:13.:01:18.

in a nearby bar and have taken hostages but that specific line has

:01:19.:01:25.

not been confirmed by the police. Let's go to the scene live in

:01:26.:01:33.

Barcelona. This tells the story and reflect what the eyewitnesses we

:01:34.:01:35.

have been talking to have been saying which is that police be

:01:36.:01:38.

moving people out of the area as much as possible. The advice is to

:01:39.:01:46.

stay indoors and anyone who has been out on the streets have been moved

:01:47.:01:49.

away and we have spoken to many when here on BBC news in the last few

:01:50.:01:54.

hours to have been moved out of that key central area for their own

:01:55.:01:58.

safety and the police cordon has been getting slowly better. That is

:01:59.:02:03.

why the streets now work the required. Not entirely deserted,

:02:04.:02:06.

interestingly, but every witness we have spoken to has said that they

:02:07.:02:12.

have been harried down side streets. And that the police have been moving

:02:13.:02:13.

people away, people have been running and police

:02:14.:02:16.

have been moving people away. Certainly, at the moment, the advice

:02:17.:02:21.

is to still stay indoors wherever possible. To reiterate, the casualty

:02:22.:02:25.

numbers, as we understand them, there has been a lot of confusion

:02:26.:02:29.

about this, the official police comment on that is one person has

:02:30.:02:41.

died and 32 are injured. You may well have heard or picked up on

:02:42.:02:44.

social media are far bigger numbers than that, sadly. That is partly

:02:45.:02:46.

because Spanish media say that at least 13 people have died. That is

:02:47.:02:49.

what is being said locally. Spanish police will not confirm that at this

:02:50.:02:54.

stage. There is talk, first of all, to Will Geddes. A security

:02:55.:02:58.

consultant, well known to us here at the BBC. We speak to him a lot about

:02:59.:03:03.

these sorts of incidents. By chance, I gather that you are in Barcelona?

:03:04.:03:11.

Can you explain what you have experienced today and what you know

:03:12.:03:16.

of the situation? Absolutely. I have been down at the court in line along

:03:17.:03:21.

Las Ramblas. I was actually hear a few hours ago. The view is, it's a

:03:22.:03:28.

very small boulevard, in many regards. It is incredibly busy.

:03:29.:03:33.

Every single shop or building contains a cafe, a shop, a

:03:34.:03:41.

restaurant. It is packed, from dawn until dusk, with tourists. And

:03:42.:03:50.

locals. I got reports, I was a mile away from the events taking place

:03:51.:03:54.

and I got there as quickly as possible. The police cordon was

:03:55.:04:01.

quickly mounted by authorities and they put it further out every ten or

:04:02.:04:06.

15 minutes, moving the general public away. The sense here is,

:04:07.:04:13.

business as normal. It may be partly due to people not being necessarily

:04:14.:04:16.

aware of what has actually occurred today. And when you heard that this

:04:17.:04:24.

was a van that had driven into pedestrians, one person that I spoke

:04:25.:04:29.

to said that he watched it swerving, almost making a figure of eight, if

:04:30.:04:34.

I can put it that way, swerving into pedestrians. What goes through your

:04:35.:04:40.

mind about the modus operandi here? It's a typical and standard delivery

:04:41.:04:46.

platform by terror groups these days. And extremists, we have seen a

:04:47.:04:52.

lot of it recently and in North America obviously. Again, the

:04:53.:04:58.

delivery of attack by vehicle is easy to mount and it is difficult to

:04:59.:05:04.

prevent, other than with vehicle mitigation methods, putting concrete

:05:05.:05:10.

blocks into key areas. Barcelona will be reconsidering their planning

:05:11.:05:15.

to incorporate blocks around touristy areas in the city where

:05:16.:05:18.

there is a vast number of people congregated. That plays into the

:05:19.:05:26.

terror ideal. A lot of intelligence coming through now, there are

:05:27.:05:30.

certain people who are quite jumpy. There are a lot of different reports

:05:31.:05:35.

coming in right now, as you and I both know, in the first occasion of

:05:36.:05:44.

terror incidents, there could be some unsubstantiated reports. Some

:05:45.:05:48.

will be speculation but there have been confirmations that the second

:05:49.:06:00.

vehicle, that this vehicle was also rented and one can assume, certainly

:06:01.:06:06.

within a short period of time, that Spanish intelligence agencies are

:06:07.:06:09.

all over it and looking into the individual and any known associates.

:06:10.:06:13.

There will be thoughts of whether there could be other attacks in the

:06:14.:06:20.

imminent period. And so, that presents an extremely worrying

:06:21.:06:23.

scenario for the authorities, because, not to say that it could be

:06:24.:06:27.

in Barcelona, but it could be in another city. How, given your

:06:28.:06:35.

knowledge of this world, how do the authorities respond to that? Will

:06:36.:06:41.

they have, for example, a plan of action for precisely this grim sort

:06:42.:06:47.

of eventuality? In terms of prevention, it is incredibly

:06:48.:06:49.

difficult without putting in physical barriers as a proactive

:06:50.:06:55.

measure. I've been in many cities in the UK, and especially in London

:06:56.:06:59.

where I live, but authorities have a very good heritage of dealing with

:07:00.:07:04.

these kinds of incidents. Certainly, ranging right back to these events,

:07:05.:07:10.

they have a good legacy of dealing in this capacity and certainly, all

:07:11.:07:19.

agencies that are directly affected, there are supporters of Islamic

:07:20.:07:23.

State, and they would have been preparing themselves after each

:07:24.:07:27.

preceding attack, and as we have seen, many of these attacks have

:07:28.:07:31.

involved a delivery of attack by a vehicle. Because, regrettably, that

:07:32.:07:38.

is just so straightforward to do, is it as basic as that? Sadly, it is.

:07:39.:07:46.

It is something which is, unfortunately, an element of our

:07:47.:07:54.

everyday lives, and it is something that unfortunately any large town or

:07:55.:08:00.

city cannot exist without unless it has a sophisticated public

:08:01.:08:04.

transportation infrastructure. For the time being we will always have

:08:05.:08:09.

vehicles on our roads but where there are cities who could feel that

:08:10.:08:13.

they are vulnerable to this, they have to go on adopting a more robust

:08:14.:08:17.

stance, certainly introducing bees concrete blocks and hostile vehicle

:08:18.:08:26.

mitigation measures where they can. And unfortunately, the general

:08:27.:08:28.

public should take reassurance from that rather than an alarmist

:08:29.:08:33.

perspective, in that we had to live in fear. We are going to be safer

:08:34.:08:39.

with protective measures all around us. And the only thing that could

:08:40.:08:45.

truly prevent this kind of attack, and you and I reflected on this the

:08:46.:08:48.

morning after the London Bridge attack here in the UK, ultimately,

:08:49.:08:55.

because of what has happened here is relatively straightforward, as you

:08:56.:08:59.

describe, only intelligence will prevent these attacks? Absolutely,

:09:00.:09:06.

intelligence agencies, sharing intelligence between various

:09:07.:09:10.

countries, that is key. You may have seen, I have on Twitter, various

:09:11.:09:15.

names touted as the identity of the individual behind the attacks today.

:09:16.:09:22.

And so, again, one must be cautious but agencies have sufficient

:09:23.:09:26.

intelligence and many of those that have had those horrific attacks have

:09:27.:09:29.

been known to a greater or lesser degree by agencies. The problem that

:09:30.:09:36.

we face is one of resource. For those agencies, being able to

:09:37.:09:40.

monitor and keep watch in various different forms. Those who could be

:09:41.:09:50.

a potential risk to us. Will Geddes, it's good to have your time this

:09:51.:09:56.

evening. The terrorism and security expert, who, by chance, is in

:09:57.:10:02.

Barcelona. We are sadly well used to talking to Will Geddes in events

:10:03.:10:06.

like this, and by chance he is in that Spanish city tonight and was

:10:07.:10:10.

able to speak to us. There is actually a couple of important lines

:10:11.:10:14.

coming from the Catalan police in the last few moments. And Reuters

:10:15.:10:18.

News Agency. They say that police are telling them that they have

:10:19.:10:24.

arrested one man. So, Catalan police telling Reuters News Agency that

:10:25.:10:30.

they have arrested one man. Also, an important caveat, because they are

:10:31.:10:35.

saying, police are saying, there is nobody held up in a bar in

:10:36.:10:38.

Barcelona, and that is interesting. They are responding to several hours

:10:39.:10:46.

of response in Pat -- reports in Spanish media that two men were

:10:47.:10:50.

holding people in a bar. That came through in the last couple of hours

:10:51.:10:54.

and Spanish media have consistently reported that and it appears Catalan

:10:55.:10:58.

police wanted to explain that that element was not correct. So, police

:10:59.:11:03.

are adamant that there is nobody being held up in a bar in Barcelona.

:11:04.:11:08.

But just in the last few minutes, police have said that they have

:11:09.:11:14.

arrested one man. Our correspondent Tom Burridge has been following this

:11:15.:11:19.

year in the BBC Studios as well. Tom, you are very familiar with the

:11:20.:11:25.

country too. Probably worth drawing breath for a moment. Firstly, as

:11:26.:11:30.

ever, explaining exactly what police are thinking is this situation right

:11:31.:11:38.

now? At the moment, police are not going beyond this casualty figure of

:11:39.:11:41.

one dead. But the important phrase in the statement that we got from

:11:42.:11:48.

the official from the Interior Ministry of the Catalan government,

:11:49.:11:52.

they have a devolved government, with their own police force, that

:11:53.:11:55.

was coming straight from their twitter feed. But the Catalan police

:11:56.:12:02.

said that there could be more. The Spanish media, I am on their website

:12:03.:12:08.

right now, the most read newspaper in the country, El Pais and El Mundo

:12:09.:12:18.

say that there are at least 13 people dead. And the most popular

:12:19.:12:25.

radio station. I would be very surprised if that death toll does

:12:26.:12:29.

not rise. The Catalan police force, I think, we are now getting official

:12:30.:12:34.

information from Catalan authorities, there is nobody holed

:12:35.:12:45.

up in a bar in the centre of Barcelona. They have detained one

:12:46.:12:49.

man in relation to the terror attack. It is interesting, actually,

:12:50.:12:56.

on El Mundo's website, they have published a photo of a man which

:12:57.:13:01.

they say has come directly from police, I'm not clear on whether it

:13:02.:13:08.

has come from spat-- Spanish national police or from mozos, they

:13:09.:13:15.

have a man on earth African origin with legal residency in Spain, they

:13:16.:13:22.

have a photo of a suspect, a man wanted in connection with the

:13:23.:13:27.

attack. That has been released online and we will have that photo

:13:28.:13:32.

for people to see. It seems swift, given that this only happened in the

:13:33.:13:38.

last three, maximum four hours. But it is a fast moving situation of

:13:39.:13:41.

course. There was an earlier reference to finding a van in a

:13:42.:13:50.

nearby area, not in Barcelona it self? Is a town that I am familiar

:13:51.:13:53.

with, I had colleagues who went there for a story in the last couple

:13:54.:13:59.

of years. It is a fairly small place 60 kilometres from Barcelona. Police

:14:00.:14:05.

have found the van, information is coming from the mayor there, quoted

:14:06.:14:10.

in Spanish press. You would be surprised if the basic information

:14:11.:14:14.

is incorrect, he is essentially saying that this van has been found,

:14:15.:14:19.

and it is thought that it could be linked to the attacks. At the

:14:20.:14:23.

moment, I do not think we should read too much into this van, things

:14:24.:14:30.

may become clear that actually this van has nothing to do with the

:14:31.:14:35.

attack at all, but it is part of that investigation. And that's

:14:36.:14:45.

coming from the town itself. And your thoughts on what kind of impact

:14:46.:14:53.

that this has had upon people. And relating to Spain, and what the

:14:54.:14:59.

national debate has been on terrorism and how vulnerable they

:15:00.:15:03.

feel, what are your thoughts more broadly? People will remember the

:15:04.:15:10.

bombings, several years ago, well before I was in Spain, on the train

:15:11.:15:15.

system, small trains coming into the capital of Madrid. That was the

:15:16.:15:21.

major terror attack in Spain in recent years. This does not seem on

:15:22.:15:26.

that scale by any means but clearly it is a serious attack. It will

:15:27.:15:32.

concentrate minds, I remember going around in the trade, -- in Madrid,

:15:33.:15:42.

as I was jogging, I left there two years ago or so. There have been

:15:43.:15:46.

other terror attacks in other parts of Europe. Spain had not been hit in

:15:47.:15:52.

the time that I was there, in the five years or so in Spain. There was

:15:53.:16:01.

a heavy police presence outside, the train station in the Madrid area,

:16:02.:16:11.

that area of Barcelona, it is heaving. That particular area of Las

:16:12.:16:16.

Ramblas, it is a labyrinth of tiny streets. It is a beautiful area. It

:16:17.:16:24.

is a very packed and densely packed area. Of course, Las Ramblas is one

:16:25.:16:30.

of the most famous places. A lot of locals avoid the area because it is

:16:31.:16:34.

so packed with tourists on any day. The other interesting thing is, the

:16:35.:16:40.

Catalan government, on a political step back from this, the Catalan

:16:41.:16:44.

government is planning a referendum on independence from Spain at the

:16:45.:16:47.

beginning of October. The Spanish and have said, you cannot do it, it

:16:48.:16:51.

is illegal and against the constitution. This has been dragging

:16:52.:16:56.

on for years. There a stand-off between the Catalan and Spanish

:16:57.:17:00.

government. Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister, is going to

:17:01.:17:04.

Barcelona now and that is not surprising. He will want to be

:17:05.:17:07.

there, it's a big incident for the country. We will get a sense of

:17:08.:17:12.

unity. Spanish media are saying in the next 12 minutes or so, we will

:17:13.:17:18.

hear from the head of the Catalan government. He is expected to give a

:17:19.:17:23.

statement, do not expect if it is delayed given the complexity and

:17:24.:17:27.

lack of clarity and how things are only just becoming clearer by the

:17:28.:17:31.

minute. Once he gets a statement, then we will get some actual

:17:32.:17:36.

concrete facts wrong authorities. And the fact that he is giving a

:17:37.:17:40.

statement, I guess it means that authorities are getting a hand on

:17:41.:17:43.

the situation, and they know the facts on the ground. We will keep an

:17:44.:17:48.

eye. Thank you. I know that you will be staying with us, Tom Burridge. A

:17:49.:17:52.

suggestion that there will be a statement from Catalan police at

:17:53.:17:56.

half-past. Keep an eye on that and see whether further details are

:17:57.:18:01.

given in the news briefing. Let's speak to another eyewitness in

:18:02.:18:05.

Barcelona at the moment. Charlie Parsons joins me on the phone. Thank

:18:06.:18:10.

you for talking to the BBC. What have you experienced in Barcelona

:18:11.:18:17.

today? I was cycling up Las Ramblas when suddenly a huge crowd rushed

:18:18.:18:21.

into me, about ten or 20 metres in front of me. You freeze when that

:18:22.:18:27.

happens. Obviously something was happening, there was screaming. I

:18:28.:18:33.

froze, I was actually on a city bike that I needed to return. That was my

:18:34.:18:37.

first thought and then I thought, I have to get to safety. I walked down

:18:38.:18:43.

Las Ramblas, passing three or four people who had something that had

:18:44.:18:46.

happened to them. There was blood, I could see them on the ground. I

:18:47.:18:50.

showed it in a shop as it was closing its metal blinds. It was

:18:51.:18:56.

quite a scary moment. Did you begin to understand what was happening or

:18:57.:19:04.

was its sheer confusion? Obviously something had happened, I could hear

:19:05.:19:08.

shots, it may have been police. I assumed it was gunfire of some kind.

:19:09.:19:12.

There was clearly something awful that had happened. Having been in

:19:13.:19:17.

London when the most recent London Bridge attack happened, I recognised

:19:18.:19:23.

what it was. Your reaction is weird. You freeze, and I can literally

:19:24.:19:29.

think of the time I went in... I went into the shop as they were

:19:30.:19:33.

closing the shutters, as I say. Your first thought is, my God, what was

:19:34.:19:41.

that about? In the shop, people were actually crying. I think some people

:19:42.:19:44.

may have had friends outside who did not get in before the shuttle was

:19:45.:19:50.

closing. I was thinking... This is awful. It was the scariest thing

:19:51.:19:56.

that has happened in my life, for sure. Given that, it's very good of

:19:57.:20:01.

you to talk to us, Charlie. Do you feel able to assess what the mood is

:20:02.:20:06.

now? Admittedly, still only a few hours later, but have you been able

:20:07.:20:11.

to get a sense of what local people are thinking and feeling about this?

:20:12.:20:18.

Not just tourists? I don't know. I walked out the back door of this

:20:19.:20:22.

place about 15 minutes after I had gone in. It was weird, it was

:20:23.:20:27.

obviously before it had got to the news. So nobody was even really

:20:28.:20:33.

aware of it. Barcelona life, which is very busy, was just continuing. I

:20:34.:20:42.

don't know. Knowing from London, people will get on with their

:20:43.:20:45.

business, they will not let it affect them. They did not seem to be

:20:46.:20:51.

an error of panic, even though by the time I had to go up and around,

:20:52.:20:55.

to get to where I was staying, and played a Catalina -- plaque at the

:20:56.:21:02.

Catalunya was closed, people were just walking. It was scary in the

:21:03.:21:10.

moment, the people may be curious about what had happened. I am sat on

:21:11.:21:16.

a roof terrace and a helicopter has been circling since the incident,

:21:17.:21:22.

looking for something. You can hear police sirens and ambulances that

:21:23.:21:27.

life has to go on. I feel like staying in. I do not want to be

:21:28.:21:32.

going out tonight, that is how I feel. It's really good of you to

:21:33.:21:36.

speak to us. Thank you very much indeed. Charlie Parsons talking to

:21:37.:21:41.

us from Barcelona, and explaining what he has experienced like so many

:21:42.:21:46.

others in the last few hours in the Spanish city. Now, the Catalan

:21:47.:21:57.

government has been putting updates on Twitter, and as we are now

:21:58.:22:02.

familiar with, it is often on social media but announcements are made in

:22:03.:22:05.

relation to these investigations and it is worth telling you that the

:22:06.:22:09.

Catalan government is now saying on Twitter that there is confirmation,

:22:10.:22:16.

sadly, that 13 people have died. At least 50 have been injured. This is

:22:17.:22:21.

what they have been putting on to their Twitter, 13 people have been

:22:22.:22:26.

killed and at least 50 are injured. Those are similar to the kinds of

:22:27.:22:30.

figures that Spanish media have sadly been reporting in the last

:22:31.:22:34.

couple of hours but we have only just had that confirmed. The Catalan

:22:35.:22:38.

government have confirmed 13 people are dead and at least 50 injured. We

:22:39.:22:44.

know, in the last little while, that one person has been arrested. Police

:22:45.:22:47.

announced that in the last little while. One man has been arrested.

:22:48.:22:54.

Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, issued a brief statement.

:22:55.:22:59.

INAUDIBLE In response to that terror attack in

:23:00.:23:03.

Barcelona. The British Prime Minister says that the UK stands

:23:04.:23:10.

with Spain against terror. Donald Trump, from the US, has said that

:23:11.:23:15.

America stands ready to help Spanish authorities after today's attack.

:23:16.:23:25.

Just a final thought from you, just for now, Tom Burridge, a BBC

:23:26.:23:29.

correspondent in Spain for several years. One person has been arrested

:23:30.:23:35.

but grim news in terms of the death toll so far? A sad night for

:23:36.:23:39.

Barcelona and Spain. It is a great city. I am genuinely gutted that

:23:40.:23:44.

this has happened. As you say, this is coming in, a beneficial from the

:23:45.:23:51.

Catalan government, 13 confirmed dead and 50 injured. I think that we

:23:52.:23:57.

will have two, over time, see how seriously injured those people are

:23:58.:24:03.

and whether the death toll will rise further. I am also reading that the

:24:04.:24:08.

part of the city there is in lockdown and police have evacuated

:24:09.:24:14.

bars and cafes. I think that the situation is currently ongoing and

:24:15.:24:19.

facts are still coming out. Tom Burridge will stay with us, there

:24:20.:24:24.

are suggestions that there may be another police update at half-past.

:24:25.:24:27.

We will bring you any details that police give us there. You are

:24:28.:24:32.

watching BBC News with continued coverage of a grim day in Barcelona,

:24:33.:24:37.

a terrorist attack that has claimed 13 lives, and left at least

:24:38.:24:42.

several of the advice at the moment is to stay indoors whenever

:24:43.:24:44.

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