Two Italians dead and three reported injured in Barcelona terror attacks

AFP/The Local
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Two Italians dead and three reported injured in Barcelona terror attacks
Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Two Italians were among the 13 killed by the van attack in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon according to multiple media reports citing foreign office sources. At least three more Italians have been reported injured in a night that saw three terrorist incidents on Spain's east coast.


One of the deceased victims was Italian marketing manager Bruno Gulotta, who was killed in the attack on Las Ramblas after a man drove a van into pedestrians on the busy street.

Gulotta, a 35-year-old, was on holiday in Barcelona with his wife and two children, according to a statement from Tom's Hardware, the company where he worked.

"Bruno was a point of reference for all those who knew him. He was a key pillar for us at Tom's Hardware. Anybody who got to know him, whether it was customers, suppliers, or web personalities, was impressed by his kindness and professionalism," wrote Roberto Buonanno, the company's Country Manager for Italy, in the powerful online piece. "Rest in peace, Bruno, we will remember for you ever."  

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At least three other Italians were injured in the van attack, according to Repubblica, which cited Italy's ambassador to Spain. Two of the three have apparently been released from hospital without serious injuries.

The daily also said a second man had been confirmed dead in a phone call with Italy's foreign office. It named the second Italian killed as Luca Russo from Treviso, who was apparently on holiday in Catalunya with his girlfriend, who also reportedly incurred injuries. 

AFP also reported that the foreign ministry said two Italian nationals were among the 14 people killed by Thursday's attack but did not identify them.

Another Italian national was said to have been injured in a different incident in Spain on the same night, an explosion at a house in Montecarlo de Alcanar Platja, which killed one and injured seven, according to a separate report in the same daily. 

On Friday morning, Italy's Foreign Ministry had not publicly confirmed the number of Italian casualties in Barcelona, however foreign minister Angelino Alfano said he was "working to assist Italians in Barcelona".

Several media organisations however said they had confirmed by phone with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that two Italians had died in the attacks. 

The ministry said that extra support would be provided to the Italian consulate in Barcelona "to help our citizens in every way we can".

Another statement offered condolences to the victims' families and the injured and expressed "pain for this horrible attack at the heart of Europe." 

The Italian consulate in Spain has provided an emergency number for any Italians caught up in the attacks: +39 063 62 25.

In total, thirteen people have been confirmed dead in the van attack in Barcelona, and people from 24 countries are among the dead and injured.

Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni expressed his condolences for the horror that engulfed Catalunya in a tweet on Thursday August 17th. "Splendid Barcelona, our friend, is under attack...Italy is close to local and Spanish authorities. Our thoughts are with those affected," wrote PM Gentiloni on social media network Twitter.

Gentiloni reportedly called Mariano Rajoy, Spain's prime minister, on Friday August 18th to offer his and Italy's condolences personally.

The PM highlighted the friendship between the two countries, emphasizing the shared "unity and strength in the face of terror that will never defeat democracy and liberty," according to a report in Italian national news agency Ansa

The attack, which has been claimed by Isis, left more than 100 people of multiple nationalities injured, as well as those who died. One of the suspects arrested in connection with the Las Ramblas carnage, Driss Oukabir, had been in Italy in early 2014, claims Repubblica.

The foreign ministry said three Italians were among the injured but did not rule out the toll mounting, according to AFP. 

"There are still other people to be identified and the Spanish authorities are working on that at the moment," said Stefano Verrecchia, the head of the ministry's crisis unit, as reported by Agence France-Presse. 

"Italy remembers Bruno Gulotta and Luca Russo and rallies around their families. Liberty will overcome the barbarism of terrorism," wrote PM Gentiloni in another tweet.

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