Police hunt Moroccan man as search for Barcelona attack driver continues

editorial image

Spanish police hunting for the driver of the van used in the Barcelona attack are focusing their efforts on a 22-year-old Moroccan national, according to reports.

Younes Abouyaaqoub is said to be at the centre of the investigation into the massacre on Las Ramblas that left 13 dead and nearly 130 injured.

According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, police in Catalonia said they were searching for the man, who is understood to be a key member of a 12-strong jihadist cell responsible for the attacks.

READ MORE: Family of boy, seven, missing after van attack fly to Barcelona to join search

It emerged yesterday that another suspect Moussa Oukabir, who is thought to have rented the van, was among five men shot dead as they launched a second attack in the coastal town of Cambrils.

The teenager, said to be 17 or 18 years old, is suspected of using his brother's documents to hire the vehicle that ploughed through pedestrians in the tourist hotspot on Thursday evening.

He reportedly died along with Said Aallaa, 19, and Mohamed Hychami, 24, who were part of a group that mounted a similar attack in Cambrils that left one woman dead and six people injured.

The identities of the other two dead jihadists are yet to be confirmed by police.

Four men, aged 21, 27, 28 and 34, who were arrested in connection with the attack remain in custody.

Three are Moroccan and one Spanish, and police said none of them was previously known to the security services for terror-related reasons.

Moussa Oukabir's older brother, Driss Oukabir, is reported to be one of those detained.

Some 34 nationalities were among almost 130 people wounded in the attacks in Las Ramblas and in Cambrils, which lies around 70 miles to the south west.

Local authorities have identified six of the victims of the Barcelona attack as an Italian, one Portuguese, three Spanish and one Spanish-Argentine.

The victim of the second assault in Cambrils has been identified as a Spanish woman.

Authorities said 59 people injured in the attacks were still in hospital on Friday night, with 15 in a critical condition and 25 in a serious condition.