Thou­sands in Barcelona march shout­ing "I'm not afraid!"

Sun.Star Pampanga - - WORLD! -


Spain (AP) -- Hundreds of thou­sands of peace marchers flooded the heart of Barcelona on Satur­day shout­ing "I'm not afraid" - a pub­lic re­jec­tion of vi­o­lence fol­low­ing ex­trem­ist at­tacks that killed 15 peo­ple, Spain's dead­li­est in more than a decade.

Emer­gency work­ers, taxis drivers, po­lice and or­di­nary cit­i­zens who helped im­me­di­ately af­ter the at­tack on Aug. 17 in the city's famed Las Ram­blas boule­vard led the march. They car­ried a street-wide ban­ner with black cap­i­tal let­ters read­ing "No Tinc Por," which means "I'm not afraid" in the lo­cal Cata­lan language.

The phrase has grown from a spon­ta­neous civic an­swer to vi­o­lence into a slo­gan that Spain's en­tire po­lit­i­cal class has unan­i­mously em­braced.

Spain's cen­tral, re­gional and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties tried to send an im­age of unity Satur­day by walk­ing be­hind emer­gency work­ers, de­spite ear­lier crit­i­cism that na­tional and re­gional au­thor­i­ties had not shared in­for­ma­tion about the at­tack­ers well enough with each other.

In a first for a Span­ish monarch, King Felipe VI joined a pub­lic demon­stra­tion, along with Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy and other Span­ish and Cata­lan re­gional of­fi­cials.

Still, some cit­i­zens whis­tled their dis­plea­sure as au­thor­i­ties passed by and held ban­ners crit­i­ciz­ing the king's role in pro­mot­ing mil­i­tary ex­ports to Saudi Ara­bia.

Barcelona po­lice said some 500,000 peo­ple showed up to the march Satur­day.

The Is­lamic State group has claimed the ve­hi­cle at­tacks in Barcelona and hours later in the coastal town of Cam­brils that left 15 dead and over 120 wounded. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Is­lamic ex­trem­ist cell be­hind the at­tacks has shown that the group planned even more deadly car­nage but ac­ci­dently blew up a house in Al­ca­nar where ex­plo­sives were be­ing built and gas tanks were be­ing stored.

Eight sus­pects are dead, two are jailed un­der pre­lim­i­nary charges of ter­ror­ism and homi­cide and two more were freed by a judge but will re­main un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Med­i­cal au­thor­i­ties said Satur­day that 22 peo­ple wounded in the at­tacks are still be­ing treated in hos­pi­tals. Six of them re­main in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

In the north­east­ern town of Ripoll, home for many of the at­tack­ers, mem­bers of the lo­cal Mus­lim com­mu­nity and other res­i­dents gath­ered Satur­day in a cen­tral square to con­demn the deadly at­tacks. Lo­cated at the foothills of the Pyre­nees, the town is where most sus­pects came un­der the in­flu­ence of a rad­i­cal imam, in­ves­ti­ga­tors say.

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