Angela Merkel condemns ‘revolting attack’ in Barcelona

The office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday condemned the "revolting attack" in Barcelona, which saw a van plough through a street packed with pedestrians, killing 13 people.

Angela Merkel condemns 'revolting attack' in Barcelona
Police secure the area around Las Ramblas in Barcelona, the scene of Thursday's attack. Photo: AFP

“We are thinking with profound sadness of the victims of the revolting attack in Barcelona — with solidarity and frienship alongside the Spanish people,” tweeted spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Thirteen people were killed and more than 100 remain in hospital after a suspected Islamist terrorist drove a van into pedestrian on the bustling Las Ramblas street in Barcelona.

Citizens from 24 countries were killed or injured in the attack. 

The German foreign office has said it is working to confirm reports that German citizens are among the dead. 

Catalan authorities have confirmed that Germans were also among the injured without revealing numbers. 

Three people have been arrested in connection with the attack, the deadliest in Spain since 192 people were killed by Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists in the 2004 train bombings in Madrid.

LIVE Barcelona attacks – The Local Spain



Anti-Semitism ‘massive problem’ in Germany, says Jewish leader on terror attack anniversary

On the second anniversary of a far-right terror attack at a German synagogue, the German Jewish Council has warned that the government needs to make more efforts to stop the spread of anti-Semitism online.

Anti-Semitism 'massive problem' in Germany, says Jewish leader on terror attack anniversary
A star of David on the roof of the Halle synagogue. Photo: dpa-Zentralbild | Hendrik Schmidt

Two years after a terrorist attack in the east German town of Halle that left two people dead, Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews, said that more needed to be done in the fight against anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.

“The spread and incitement of hate, for example in the form of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories via social media, is a massive problem,” Schuster told DPA.

On October 9th 2019, a heavily armed right-wing extremist called Stephan Balliet tried to enter the Halle city synagogue on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

When he failed to do so, he shot a 40-year-old passerby. He later killed a 20-year-old man at a kebab shop. While trying to escape, the 28-year-old injured several people before he was caught by the police.

The city of Halle is commemorating the event on Saturday, with wreaths to be laid at the scene of the crime. Reiner Haseloff, state leader of Saxony-Anhalt, is expected to attend.

Balliet was sentenced to life in prison in 2020 by the Naumburg Higher Regional Court. His sentence will be followed by preventive detention.

Funs for synagogue security

While praising the German government for introducing a law that makes social media companies responsible for hateful content posted on their sites, Schuster said that the legislation needed to be extended to messenger services such as Telegram.

“We must do everything we can to ensure that the internet is not a lawless space,” he said.

According to Schuster, the German government reacted quickly after the Halle attack by providing money to improve security at Jewish institutions.

This was an important step, he said. “However, there is still much to be done at the political and social level to combat growing anti-Semitism.”

SEE ALSO: Four held over foiled ‘Islamist’ attack on German synagogue