Relatives of a seven-year-old boy missing after the Barcelona terror attack have flown to Spain in their search for him, as police hunting for the driver of the van used in the attack are reportedly focusing their efforts on a 22-year-old Moroccan national.
The family of Julian Alessandro Cadman – understood to be a dual British-Australian national – have pleaded for information about his whereabouts after he became separated from his mother during the attack on Las Ramblas that left 14 dead and nearly 130 injured.
His father and grandmother are now travelling to Spain from Australia, family member Debbie Cadman said. Julian’s family issued a plea on Facebook after his disappearance, with Grandfather Tony Cadman urging people to share a photograph of the seven-year-old.
He wrote: “My grandson, Julian Alessandro Cadman, is missing. Please like and share. We have found Jom (my daughter in law) and she is (in a) serious but stable condition in hospital.
“Julian is seven years old and was out with Jom when they were separated, due to the recent terrorist activity. Please share if you have family or friends in Barcelona.”
On Saturday the Philippines government said a seven-year-old child who is missing following the attack is the son of a 43-year-old Filipino woman who had been living in Australia.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Arriola said the woman was with her son in Barcelona to attend the wedding of a cousin from the Philippines.
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Ms Arriola said the woman, who was seriously injured, became separated from her child in the attack, and her British husband is heading to Barcelona to try to find his son.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said that UK authorities are “urgently looking into reports” that a child with dual British nationality is missing and on Saturday Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, without naming the child, asked people to pray for a young Australian boy who is missing in the wake of the attack.
The search for Julian comes as reports suggested that Spanish police hunting for the driver of the van used in the Barcelona attack are focusing their efforts on 22-year-old Moroccan national Younes Abouyaaqoub.
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, police in Catalonia have said they are searching for the man, who is understood to be a key member of a jihadist cell.
On Friday it emerged that another suspect, Moussa Oukabir, who is thought to have rented the van, was among five men shot dead as they launched a second attack in the coastal town of Cambrils that left one woman dead and six people injured.
The teenager, said to be 17 or 18 years old, reportedly died along with Said Aallaa, 19, and Mohamed Hychami, 24. The identities of the other two dead jihadists are yet to be confirmed by police.
Four men, aged 21, 27, 28 and 34 – three Moroccan and one Spanish – who were arrested in connection with the attack remain in custody.
Moussa Oukabir’s older brother, Driss Oukabir, is reported to be one of those detained.
Some 34 nationalities were among almost 130 people wounded in the attacks in Las Ramblas and in Cambrils, which lies around 70 miles to the south west.
Authorities said 59 people injured in the attacks were still in hospital on Friday night, with 15 in a critical condition and 25 in a serious condition.
Local authorities have identified six of the victims of the Barcelona attack as an Italian, one Portuguese, three Spanish and one Spanish-Argentine.
The victim of the second assault in Cambrils has been identified as a Spanish woman.
Four Australians were injured in the attack, the country’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said one Canadian was killed and four injured during the attacks.
Police have revealed the terrorists were preparing bigger attacks, with a suspected gas explosion on Wednesday at a house in Alcanar believed to have robbed the killers of materials to use in larger-scale operations.