Manhunt continues for Barcelona attack suspect Younes Abouyaaqoub

World Today

French police officers check vehicles at the border crossing between Spain and France in Dantcharia, southwestern France, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. French police are carrying out extra border checks on people arriving from Spain as authorities search for a fugitive suspect in the Barcelona attacks. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

The manhunt continues for the main suspect in the Barcelona terrorist attack. Police are searching for 22- year- old Moroccan-born Younes Abouyaaqoub.

CGTN’s Dan Williams has the latest.
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Investigators are focusing their energy on finding Abouyaaqoub.

Despite this, Spain’s interior minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said the terrorist cell behind the attack has been dismantled.  Catalonian officials, however, said that statement is premature.

This is an undated handout photo sourced from social media of 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaquoub. Authorities in Spain and France pressed their search Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 for the supposed ringleader of an Islamic extremist cell that carried out vehicle attacks in Barcelona and a seaside resort, as the investigation focused on links among the Moroccan members and the house where they plotted the carnage. One of the main suspects in the attacks, Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan, was believed to be at large. His name figures on a police list of four main suspects sought in the attack. All the suspects on the list hail from Ripoll, a quiet, upscale town of 10,000 about 100 kilomaters north of Barcelona. (Social Media via AP)

 “I think we can’t say that this terrorist cell is dismantled yet, we have a lot of work to do,” according to the Catalonian interior minstry’s Joaquim Forn. “It’s not work for one or two days. It needs time, patience and a lot of discretion.”

At a local hospital, the destruction caused by the terrorist attack is clear. Children with arms and legs bandaged lie in a ward, with the Spanish king and his wife attempting to lift their spirits. 

King Felipe used the occasion to send a message to the terrorists.

“We are not afraid and we will never be,” Felipe VI said. “The symbol of coexistence that is Las Ramblas is back once again.”

Barcelona remains a city deep in shock. The hurt and anguish is clear to see, but local life is slowly returning to a sense of normality.

Las Ramblas’ famous market, La Boqueria, reopened for the first time on Saturday.

Manel Navarro is a security guard at the market. He was working when the attack took place, and said he continues to be haunted by the experience.

 “There were body’s on the floor, people helping others who were lying down,” Navarro recounted. “The police were helping, the medical workers were reviving the people they could and covering the corpses they couldn’t. It was a moment of chaos.”