I would not leave him… He looked like my son’: British tourist, 44, tells of his efforts to comfort child injured in Barcelona terror attack
Harry Athwal, from Birmingham, rushed to comfort the child on thursday. He saw the boy lying injured on the pavement after being hit by the vanVehicle believed to be driven by teenage jihadist Moussa Oukabir killed 13 Mr Athwal, 44, said the child was not breathing and had a serious leg injury
A shocked British father has spoken about the moment he rushed to help a young boy who had been injured in the Barcelona terror attack.
Harry Athwal, from Birmingham, saw the child lying injured in the road immediately after a van was driven deliberately into crowds of pedestrians.
He said he ignored warnings from police in order to comfort the boy.
Harry Athwal, from Birmingham, was pictured comforting the child, who was injured when a van ploughed into crowds in Barcelona’s busy tourist district
Mr Athwal, 44, who was pictured comforting the child, told : ‘The police were telling me to move but I would not leave him.
‘All the time I was thinking the terrorists could come back but I was not leaving that child. To me, he looked like my own son.’
He was in a restaurant on a first floor balcony when a van, believed to have been driven by 22-year-old jihadist Younes Abouyaaqoub was driven into crowds of tourists.
Thirteen people were killed in the atrocity, with the youngest being just three years old.
More than 100 were injured as the rented Fiat van swerved from side-to-side, ploughing down pedestrians on the busy Las Ramblas boulevard.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Abouyaaqoub, who was part of a terror cell which originally planned to fill a lorry with explosives before carrying out the attack in Barcelona.
Wanted: Police believe Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, was at the wheel of the van which killed 13 people and injured more than 100 in the heart of Barcelona’s tourist district on Thursday
A further two terrorists could also be on the loose, La Vanguardia reports, but this is unconfirmed.
Investigators first thought 17-year-old Moussa Oukabir, who rented two vans linked to the atrocity using documents stolen from his older brother, had been at the wheel.
Oukabir, from the town of Ripoll, 60 miles north of Barcelona, was gunned down along with four other jihadists in the early hours of Friday morning at the coastal resort of Cambrils.
Also killed were Said Aallaa, 18, and Mohamed Hychami, 24, who were armed with knives and machetes and were wearing what appeared to be suicide belts. The identities of the other two dead jihadis have not been released.
Abouyaaqoub is now the prime suspect for police investigating who the driver was, El Paisreports, but his whereabouts is unknown. Spain’s government will decide today whether to raise the country’s terror threat level.
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir (pictured), Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa (pictured), Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami (pictured) and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
A handcuffed suspect was taken into custody in connection with the attacks in Ripoll today. A large crowd gathered and jeered as the man was led away. He has not been identified