MADRID — Catalan police have shot and killed Younes Abouyaaqoub, the man they say carried out last week’s terrorist attack in Barcelona.
Catalonia’s Mossos d’Esquadra police force wrote on Twitter that Abouyaaqoub appeared to be wearing an explosive belt when police shot him in an operation in the town of Subirats, about 50 kilometers west of Barcelona.
Police had launched a Europe-wide manhunt for the 22-year-old Moroccan, who was wanted for Thursday’s van-ramming attack in Barcelona’s central thoroughfare of Las Ramblas that left 13 people dead and more than 120 injured.
Abouyaaqoub was also accused of stabbing a man to death during his escape from the scene of the attack, bringing the official death toll from last week’s attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils to 15.
Hours after Barcelona’s pedestrians were targeted on Thursday, a woman was killed and six people were injured when a car drove into crowds in Cambrils, about 100 kilometers south of the Catalan capital.
Mossos chief Josep Lluis Trapero said that after the Las Ramblas van attack, Abouyaaqoub escaped via the city’s iconic La Boqueria market and ran until the university area, in the proximity of the FC Barcelona Camp Nou football stadium.
There, at around 6:20 pm [1620 GMT] he bumped into 34-year-old Pau Perez, who was parking his Ford Focus car, and stabbed him to death.
“Once he kills the owner of the car, he places the body in the back and starts his escape from Barcelona,” Trapero said.
Abouyaaquoub was part of a terrorist cell based in Ripoll, 25 kilometers north of Barcelona. Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam who headed the terrorist cell, died last week in an explosion in Alcanar, Catalonia’s police chief confirmed on Monday.
He died in an explosion in Alcanar where the cell had hoarded 120 gas tanks in preparation for a larger attack, possibly on the Sagrada Familia basilica, El Confidencial and other media reported, citing police sources.
Es Satty, who had preached at a mosque in the small Spanish town of Ripoll near the French border until June, was one of the main suspects connected to last week’s attacks on Barcelona and Cambrils.
“The 12 initial targets in connection to the attacks are dead or detained, but that does not mean that the investigation is over,” Mossos d’Esquadra police wrote on Twitter.
Es Satty had spent time in Belgium, but he was not previously known to Belgian authorities and there was no evidence tying him to the March 2016 Brussels attacks, according to the prosecutor’s office in the Belgian capital.
Meanwhile, the number of people still hospitalized from the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks has fallen to 50, including nine in critical condition and 13 in serious condition.
All 15 people who died in the attacks have been identified, the Catalan emergency services and regional justice ministry wrote on Twitter.
Six Spaniards, three Italians, two Portuguese, a Belgian, a US citizen, a Canadian and a British-Australian child were among those dead.