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Suspects on trial in Spain for deadly 2017 Barcelona truck attack

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Suspects on trial in Spain for deadly 2017 Barcelona truck attack
FILE PHOTO: People gather at an impromptu memorial where a van crashed into pedestrians at Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain August 24, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

The trial of three suspects accused of involvement in the 2017 Islamist vehicle attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain, which left 16 people dead opened on Tuesday.

Prosecutors were calling for the sentences of 36 and 20 years for two men charged with membership of a terrorist organisation and manufacturing explosives.

A third defendant, charged with supporting the group, faces up to eight years in prison. The defendants deny the charges.

The immediate perpetrators of the 2017 attacks, claimed at the time by the extremist militia organisation Islamic State, were killed by police at the time.

On Aug. 17, 2017, 22-year-old, Younes Abouyaaqoub, drove a delivery truck into a crowd on Barcelona’s busy pedestrian street Las Ramblas, killing 14 and wounding at least another 118.

He then went on the run, stabbing to death another victim before being caught and shot dead by the police on Aug. 21.

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Around 24 hours after the initial attack, another group ​​of five attackers drove a car into a group in Cambrils, a town around 100 km south-east of Barcelona, killing a woman and injuring seven others.

Police shot the attackers dead.

Investigators believe the terror cell had planned much larger attacks, even considering blowing up the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona.

However, the group’s explosives store ​​blew up prematurely the day before the attack, on Aug. 16, killing the man thought to be the cell’s leader, Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty.

Lacking explosives, the remainder of the group decided at short notice to attack crowds with a truck in Barcelona.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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