Man with 'suicide belt' shot dead near Barcelona

BARCELONA: Spanish police yesterday killed a man who could be Younes Abouyaaqoub, the alleged driver of a van that mowed down crowds in Barcelona, a source said.

"They have shot dead a suspect who could be the perpetrator of the attack," said the source, who declined to be named.

Police in Catalonia confirmed a man wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt had been killed in Subirats, some 60km from Barcelona, but did not identify him.

Abouyaaqoub, 22, is suspected to have fled the scene of Thursday's attack on foot before stabbing to death a man and hijacking his car to escape from Barcelona.

On Friday morning, other members of a terror cell he belonged to drove their car into pedestrians in the seaside town of Cambrils, with one of them stabbing a woman who later died.

All five occupants of the car were shot dead by police. Other members of the 12-man terror cell that organised the attacks have been detained or are believed dead. Abouyaaqoub was the only one still at large.

The death toll in the Barcelona attack has risen to 15, Catalonia's regional minister Joaquim Forn said yesterday, as the man found stabbed dead in a car was linked to the case. The victim was identified as Spaniard Pau Perez, from Vilafranca del Penedes, some 65km from Barcelona.

He was found fatally stabbed in a Ford Focus.

Police believe Mr Perez was stabbed by Abouyaaqoub, soon after the attack in Barcelona on Thursday. - AFP