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Last Updated Wednesday April 25 2018 05:58 PM IST

Terror on wheels: how Europe faces spine-chilling attacks

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Barcelona terror attack claimed by IS Police tow away the van suspected to have been used in the attack: Reuters

Barcelona: A driver deliberately ploughed a van into pedestrians in Barcelona, Spain,  Thursday, killing 13 people in an attack that has now been claimed by the IS.

Vehicles have been used as weapons of terror several times over the past year, often by by followers of the Islamic State (IS) group, attacking nations in the US-led coalition fighting the jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

The IS propaganda agency Amaq claimed that "soldiers" from the jihadist group carried out the attack, according to the Site Intelligence Group which monitors Islamist websites.

On July 14, 2016, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year- old Tunisian, ploughed a 19-tonne truck into a Bastille Day crowd leaving a fireworks display in Nice on the Promenade des Anglais, killing 86 people on the famous beachfront avenue in France. IS later claimed Bouhlel as one of its followers.

On June 19, 2007, Adam Dzaziri, a 31-year-old radicalized Islamist who had sworn allegiance to the IS, was killed when he rammed a car loaded with guns and a gas canister into a police van on Paris's Champs-Elysees.

On August 19, 2017, a 36-year-old Algerian man, named as Hamou B., drove a BMW into soldiers outside a barrack in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, injuring six. After a car chase, police shot and wounded the suspect.

On March 22, 2017, a 52-year-old British convert to Islam, Khalid Masood, mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge near parliament and stabbed a policeman, killing five people and injuring around 50 before being shot dead by the police. The attack was later claimed by IS.

On June 3, the British capital is hit again when three attackers struck pedestrians with a van and went on a stabbing spree wearing fake suicide vests in bars in the London Bridge area. Eight people are killed before the assailants are shot dead by police. The attack was also claimed by IS.

In another IS claimed assault, Tunisian national Anis Amri, 24, hijacked a truck and slammed into a crowd of people at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 48 on December 19, 2016. Amri, on a run through several European nations, was shot dead by Italian police in Milan four days later.

A truck attack in the Swedish capital killed five people on April 7, 2017, including an 11-year-old Swedish girl, a Briton, and one Belgian. Fifteen others are injured. An Uzbek national, Rakhmat Akilov, 39, confessed to using a stolen beer truck to mow down pedestrians on Stockholm's busiest shopping street Drottninggatan. According to Uzbek police he had tried to join IS in 2015.

Read more at: Latest World news | IS claims Barcelona terror attack that killed 13

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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