The hunt for the man who killed 13 people in Barcelona by ramming a van into crowds last Thursday has been extended to all of Europe as details emerged of how he fled on foot through the streets of the old town before disappearing.
Authorities are looking for Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan-born man, who they believe was behind the wheel of a van which left a trail of dead and injured on Barcelona’s famed boulevard.
He is the only one of 12 suspects still at large and its thought he could have slipped across the border into France.
“This person is no longer just being sought in Catalonia but in all European countries, this is an effort by European police,” said Catalan government official, Joaquim Forn.
Authorities have stepped up checks at Spain’s borders.
They also raided more homes overnight in Ripoll, a town in the foothills of the Pyrenees and close to France where many of the suspects in a 12-strong cell thought to be behind the attack had lived.
Others thought to be part of the suspected Islamist militant network have been arrested, shot by police or killed in an explosion at a house in Catalonia a day before Thursday’s van attack.
The attack in Barcelona was linked to another hours later in the resort down of Cambrils, further down the Mediterranean coastline from Barcelona.
A car crashed into passers-by there and attackers got out to try and stab people.
Five suspects were shot dead, while a Spanish woman died in the attack.