INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Police hunt missing van driver over Spanish terror attacks

A manhunt is underway for the van driver involved in a terror attack in Spain last Thursday
A manhunt is underway for the van driver involved in a terror attack in Spain last Thursday

The suspect at the centre of a major manhunt over last week's terror attacks in Spain was the driver of the van that killed 13 people on Las Ramblas, an official has said today.

Joaquim Forn, head of home affairs in Catalonia's regional government, told a radio station 'everything indicates' Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan, was behind the wheel last Thursday.

Abouyaaqoub, who has reportedly fled into France on foot, is believed to be the only at-large member of a 12-strong terror cell behind the attacks in Barcelona and the seaside town of Cambrils, which left 14 dead and around 130 injured.

Three of the group remain unaccounted for by police, but it is believed two of those were killed in an explosion on Wednesday at the house in Alcanar where the terror plot was hatched.

Officials believe the terror group behind the attacks were plotting much bigger attack than those carried out, using explosives favoured by Islamic State militants.

Three vehicles were rented using Abouyaaqoub's credit card and police believe the group wanted to load the vans with explosives but were forced to change their plans after the house in Alcanar blew up.

The group is said to have stored more than 100 gas tanks and explosive ingredients at the property.

Five members of the cell were shot dead, four are in custody and as many as two were killed in the explosion, an interior minister said.

Some 34 nationalities were among those wounded in the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.

Among them was Julian Cadman, a dual British-Australian national who was separated from his mother on Las Ramblas during the massacre.