Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia will attend a special Mass at Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia church to mourn the 14 people killed in vehicle attacks, the media reported. Police are still hunting the driver of a van that killed 13 people on Thursday evening in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas boulevard. A 14th victim died in a second attack at Cambrils on Friday, reports the BBC.
Some media reports said a jihadi cell which perpetrated the attacks had initially intended to target the iconic Sagrada Familia church, designed by Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudi in 1882, with explosives. The cell has now been dismantled. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will also attend the Mass.
On Saturday, the royal couple laid a wreath at the site of the attack at Las Ramblas, accompanied by Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau and Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. The King and Queen earlier on Saturday met victims of the Barcelona attack in a city hospital.
A manhunt is on for the Moroccan-born Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, believed to be the van driver who escaped after the Barcelona attack, the BBC reported. A search is also on for Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty of a mosque at Ripoll, a town north of Barcelona where a number of the suspected cell members came from.
The imam’s apartment was raided on Saturday. He had apparently left the mosque abruptly in June and has not been seen since. The police and media reports have said Satty may have died in an explosion at a house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, on Wednesday night. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Las Ramblas attack though it is not clear whether any of the attackers were directly connected to the group or simply inspired by it.