Islamic State group claims responsibility for deadly Barcelona van attack

Police officers tell members of the public to leave the scene in a street in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Police in the northern Spanish city of Barcelona say a white van has jumped the sidewalk in the city's historic Las Ramblas district, injuring several people. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Islamic State terrorist group claims responsibility for deadly Barcelona van attack in statement carried on its Aamaq news agency.

Catalonia’s regional president said two arrests has been made in the Barcelona van attack Thursday and made people evacuate the area.

Catalonia’s regional president also said 12 people were killed and 80 are hospitalized after Barcelona van Thursday after a white van that jumped the sidewalk in Barcelona’s historical district Thursday. Police say the driver hit two officers but they are unclear if it was related to the van attack.

Barcelona resident Keith Fleming says he was watching television in his building on a side street just off Las Ramblas when he heard a noise and went out to the balcony to investigate.

He says he saw “women and children just running and they looked terrified.” Fleming heard a bang, possibly from someone rolling down a store shutter, as more people raced by.

The American living in the Spanish city says police arrived and pushed everyone a full block down the street. He says the officers still are there with guns drawn and riot police stationed at the end of the block.

His street now is deserted.

Fleming says: “It’s just kind of a tense situation….”Clearly, people were scared.”

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