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Catalan police treating knife attack in which assailant was shot as terrorism

Abdelouahab Taib, 29, had “clearly homicidal intentions” before he was killed by an officer at the Cornellà de Llobregat precinct

Comisaria Cornella
Officers outside the police station in Cornellà de Llobregat. EFE

A female officer from the Catalan regional police force shot a man dead at around 6am on Monday morning after he entered a police station in Cornellà de Llobregat (Barcelona) carrying a knife and shouting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah [God] is the greatest). The man, named as Abdelouahab Taib, was “intending to attack the officers,” according to a statement published by the police on Twitter.

The man reportedly lived around 150 meters from the police station, and the Mossos d’Esquadra, as the regional force is known, have been searching his house today.

In order to save his own life, “the officer made use of his firearm, causing the death of the individual”

After initially announcing that all lines of inquiry would be open, the Mossos announced around midday on Monday that the incident was being treated as a “terrorist attack.” “These are extremely serious facts,” said senior Mossos police chief Rafel Comes on Monday. “It was undeniably an attack against a police officer,” added the chief, who is in charge of tackling terrorism and organized crime.

The Mossos have convened a joint commission this afternoon with the National Police and Civil Guard in order to pool all available information and adopt necessary measures.

Comes explained that the man, aged 29 and of Algerian origin, turned up at the police station and insisted that he wanted to “make an inquiry.” The officer who was at reception, behind a glass screen, opened the door for the man who, according to Comes, had “clearly homicidal intentions and was determined to attack people.” The man, the police chief added, was carrying a knife of “considerable dimensions.”

Officers prepare to search the attacker’s residence.
Officers prepare to search the attacker’s residence.

In order to save her own life, “the officer made use of her firearm, causing the death of the individual,” Comes explained.

According to police sources, Taib was a resident of Cornellà de Llobregat and had a Spanish Foreign Identity Number (NIE).

Police sources also report that the officer who fired the shots was not alone in the police station when the man entered, and that all other regional police stations and security forces throughout Spain have been alerted about the incident. The police station in question was cordoned off this morning.

It is just three days since the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks carried out in August of last year in Barcelona and Cambrils, both in Catalonia, which left 16 people dead and more than 150 injured.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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