AFP: A year after jihadist attacks in Barcelona and a nearby seaside resort killed 16 people, Spain’s King Felipe VI on Friday presided over a ceremony in memory of the victims.
Fourteen people died — including two young children aged three and seven — and over 100 were injured in the Barcelona van attack on the city’s most famous street, Las Ramblas, on August 17, 2017.
During his escape, the 22-year-old Moroccan attacker also stabbed to death a young man before stealing his car.
Hours later, a car carrying five of his accomplices sped into Cambrils some 120 kilometres (75 miles) south.
The five occupants of the Audi A3 jumped out and went on a stabbing spree, killing a woman, before they were shot dead by police.
The king, his wife, Queen Letizia, and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday joined families of the victims in Barcelona for the commemoration at the Plaza Catalunya, near Las Ramblas.
“We have not given up on our values and beliefs, which one year later are stronger than ever,” Barcelona mayor Ada Colau said on the eve of the anniversary, her eyes welling with tears as she read out the names of the 16 victims.
“We are, and we will be a city of peace, a courageous city that fights terrorism with love,” she added.
Before the ceremony, which began at 10:30 am (0830 GMT) and not include speeches, flowers were laid on a pavement mosaic in the centre of Las Ramblas designed by Barcelona-born artist Joan Miro — the spot where the van came to a stop.