A van has rammed into a crowd at the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona, killing at least thirteen people and injuring dozens more.

According to local police, a white van drove on the Las Ramblas promenade in the Catalan capital at 17.05 local time (16:05 BST), striking dozens of people in the popular tourist area.

Spanish police described the incident as a terror attack and have advised members of the public to stay away from the area around Plaça Catalunya.

People have taken cover in nearby shops, businesses, and churches, while police hunt the driver of the van who is believed to have fled from the scene on foot.

El Pais reports that two suspects are currently barricaded in a bar in the Raval district of the city.

Reuters reports that police have requested the closure of nearby metro and train stations.

Emergency services have called on those in the area to use social media to inform friends and family that they are ok “to avoid the collapse of phone lines“.

Images and videos from the incident show a harrowing scene, with dozens of people lying injured in the street, with their friends and family screaming for help.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he is in constant contact with emergency services and the priority is to treat the injured.

Local journalist Jordi Perez Colome tweeted a video of people running from the scene.

Amar Anwar, a British human rights lawyer, was near the scene and tweeted video of emergency services rushing to help those in need.

Vehicles have become a popular weapon for extremists looking to cause mass civilian casualties over the last year.

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