Australian boy missing after Barcelona attack

Barcelona terror attack: 16 dead, scores injured In pictures: Aftermath of Las Ramblas attack ‘There were bodies on the ground’: Witnesses describe Barcelona attack

A seven-year-old boy who became separated from his mother is missing after the Barcelona terror attack, his Australian family say.

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Sydney man Tony Cadman has posted on Facebook that his grandson Julian Cadman is missing and the boy’s mum Jom is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Young Sydney bank worker Suria Intan is in a serious but stable condition at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona.

Ms Intan works for the Commonwealth Bank and is heavily involved in the Hillsong Church.

A picture of Suria Intan on her Facebook page.Facebook

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop earlier said of the eight Australians affected by the terrorist attack in Las Ramblas, four have been injured, three have required consular support and one is unaccounted for.

“Of the four injured, that includes one woman, who is from New South Wales in a stable condition, but was seriously injured,” Ms Bishop told reporters Friday afternoon.

“A second woman, also from NSW, is in a serious condition in hospital. She was travelling on a British passport.”

The path of the van in BarcelonaGoogle

She also said two young men from Victoria were injured, but have been discharged from hospital after treatment.

“I have spoken to the Spanish ambassador to Australia and conveyed to him the condolence of the Australian Government and the Australian people and reaffirmed our commitment to stand with Spain at this terrible time.”

She said travel advice has been updated, and that travellers should take caution.

“Again, I remind Australians that if you are worried about loved ones or families, please try and get in touch with them directly, but if you are unable to do so, and you are calling from Australia, the number is 1300 555 135.”

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People walk down a main street in Barcelona, Spain, after the terror attackAAP

16 dead, scores injured

Sixteen people were killed Thursday when a driver deliberately slammed a van into crowds on Barcelona’s most popular street in an attack claimed by the IS. 

Police and the Catalonian Interior Minister said they had arrested three suspects after the assault, the latest in a wave of vehicle rampages across Europe in recent years.

The IS propaganda agency Amaq claimed that “soldiers” from the jihadist group carried out the attack, according to the Site Intelligence Group which monitors Islamist websites.

Witnesses told of the panic unleashed in an area thronging with local residents and tourists in Spain’s second biggest city, as world leaders united in condemning the carnage.

“We can confirm there are 13 dead and more than 50 injured,” regional interior minister Joaquim Forn said on Twitter. Belgium said one of its nationals was among the dead.

Twenty-six French citizens have been injured, with at least 11 of them in serious condition, the French Foreign Affairs Ministry says.

The statement says French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit Barcelona on Friday to visit the victims, and that the French consulate in Barcelona is in contact with Spanish authorities.

0:00 Barcelona’s most famous street Las Ramblas was packed with tourists when a van drove into the crowds, leaving scenes of carnage and panic. Share Barcelona’s most famous street Las Ramblas was packed with tourists when a van drove into the crowds, leaving scenes of carnage and panic.

One of the suspects was named by the police union as Driss Oukabir, but there were no further details and police denied earlier reports a perpetrator was holed up in a bar.

The famous Las Ramblas is one of Barcelona’s busiest streets, lined with shops and restaurants and normally packed with with tourists and street performers until well into the night.

Police said there had been a “huge collision” between a van and pedestrians on the thoroughfare and a police source said officers were seeking a total of two suspects.

Injured people are treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district (AAP)AP

Spain’s royal family condemned the assault in unusually strong terms, vowing that their country would not be “terrorised” by extremists.

‘Bodies on the ground’

Witnesses told of scenes of horror, with bodies strewn along the boulevard as others fleeing for their lives.

“When it happened I ran out and saw the damage,” local shop worker Xavi Perez told AFP.

“There were bodies on the ground with people crowding round them. People were crying. There were lots of foreigners.”

Injured people are treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017AAP

Witness Aamer Anwar told Britain’s Sky News television that he was walking down Las Ramblas, which he described as “jam-packed” with tourists.

“All of a sudden, I just sort of heard a crashing noise and the whole street just started to run, screaming. I saw a woman right next to me screaming for her kids.”

Mossos d’Esquadra Police officers and emergency service workers near the site where a van crashes into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, downtown Barcelona,AAP

Just hours after, police stopped a second terrorist attack involving explosive devices in the Spanish coastal town of Cambril.

Police in the resort town of Cambrils, located about 100 kilometres south of Barcelona, say those behind a van attack which left six people injured were carrying explosive vests, according to the Associated Press.

The four attackers shot dead by police in Cambrils, 120 kilometres south of Barcelona, were wearing explosive belts.

A fifth attacker died after earlier being injured in the operation.

Police were preparing to complete controlled explosions and called for calm in Cambrils ahead of the operation.

Spain had so far been spared the kind of extremist violence that rocked nearby France, Belgium and Germany.

But it was hit by what is still Europe’s deadliest jihadist attack in March 2004, when bombs exploded on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people in an attack claimed by Al Qaeda-inspired extremists.

Ethan Spibey, a charity director on holiday in the city, said he and several others had locked themselves in a nearby church.

“All of a sudden it was real kind of chaos… people just started running screaming,” he told Sky. “There was kind of a mini stampede.”

Tom Gueller, who lives on a road next to Las Ramblas said he saw the van speeding along the boulevard.

“It wasn’t slowing down at all. It was just going straight through the middle of the crowds in the middle of the Ramblas,” he told BBC radio.

A Greek diplomat in the city said three nationals had been wounded — a woman and her two children.

Thursday’s attack, which followed similar incidents in Britain, Germany and France, drew widespread condemnation.

0:00 US Vice President Mike Pence condemns attack in Barcelona Share US Vice President Mike Pence condemns attack in Barcelona

‘Revolting attack’

“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help,” US President Donald Trump tweeted.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron — whose country has witnessed a series of bloody jihadist atrocities including a truck rampage in Nice in July 2016 that killed 86 people — said his thoughts were with the victims of the “tragic attack”.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “revolting attack” and British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter that London “stands with Spain against terror”.

The Nice carnage and other assaults including the 2015 Paris attacks on nightspots in the city were claimed by the Islamic State.

Deeply saddened by the attack on our city. All our thoughts are with the victims, their families and with the people of Barcelona.

— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 17, 2017

In another deadly vehicle attack in December, 12 people were killed when a man driving a truck ploughed into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market.

Spain has emerged as a potential target for jihadists, with extremist websites mentioning it for historical reasons, since much of its territory was once under Muslim rule.

The authorities in Spain — the world’s third biggest tourism destination — generally remain discreet on the terror threat.

But they publicise every arrest of alleged jihadists, most of them detained for propaganda, recruitment for extremist groups or “glorifying terrorism.”

According to the interior ministry, more than 180 “jihadist terrorists” have been arrested since 2015.

Australian boy missing after Spain attack

A seven-year-old Australian boy who became separated from his seriously injured mother in the Barcelona terrorist attack remains missing.

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Sydney woman Jom Cadman is in hospital but family members do not know what has happened to her son Julian.

Another Sydney woman, Suria Intan, on the last few days of a European holiday with friends is also in a serious condition in hospital.

Ms Cadman and her son were in Spain for a wedding this weekend.

Her father-in-law Tony Cadman said Ms Cadman is in a serious but stable condition in hospital, but his grandson is missing.

“Julian is seven-years-old and was out with Jom when they were separated, due to the recent terrorist activity,” he said in a Facebook post.

A friend said Ms Cadman’s husband Andrew heard about the terror attack when he turned on the radio at work in Sydney on Friday morning, but was unable to reach her on the phone.

Mr Cadman then discovered his wife was in hospital and his son was missing, the friend identified only as Scott told Sydney radio 2GB.

Scott said Mr Cadman was flying to Spain on Friday night, not knowing his son’s fate.

“He’s flying to Spain at the moment not knowing whether his son is dead or alive,” Scott said.

“They were over there for a wedding for this weekend. My mate stayed here and he’s just beside himself.”

Ms Intan, a Commonwealth Bank worker was named by Fairfax as also being seriously injured in the attack.

She was due to come home this weekend after a three-week holiday with three girlfriends, Fairfax reported.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said four Australians were injured in the attack targeting tourists in the Spanish city’s Las Ramblas district.

Two Victorian men were hit by the van driven into crowds on a busy promenade, but had been released from hospital.

At least 100 people were injured in the attack claimed by Islamic State, while Ms Bishop said Catalonian authorities put the death toll at 16.

Australian cyber safety expert Susan McLean was about 100m away as the van zigzagged down the busy avenue, mowing down pedestrians and leaving bodies strewn across the ground.

“All of a sudden there was this tidal wave of people running from both Placa de Catalunya and Las Ramblas towards us screaming, crying and with absolute terror etched on their faces,” she said.

Ms McLean, who was separated from her husband in the panic as people were pushed into shops, said the scene reminded her of Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall rampage in January that killed six and injured three dozen people.

“My first reaction was the Bourke Street massacre, because that is what it reminded me of – the vision of people fleeing in just such terror,” she said.

One of the first Bourke Street responders, fire brigade Commander Graeme O’Sullivan, and his wife saw the carnage as they enjoyed poolside drinks on a rooftop terrace of their Barcelona hotel.

“We could clearly hear thuds as the vehicle was running into people, and then a short time after that, obviously, several very loud sickening screams from the people involved down at street level,” he said.

There are no reports any Australians were involved in two connected attacks in the Spanish towns of Cambrils and Alcanar, both south of Barcelona.

Sombre crowds return to Las Ramblas

Tourists and Barcelona residents have tentatively returned to Las Ramblas for a subdued stroll down the leafy boulevard, a day after a van attack filled it with fear and bloodshed.

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Dozens of armed police officers in blue and neon-yellow uniforms were stationed near Placa de Catalunya and the street was still closed to vehicles, but all other signs of the previous day’s terror had been cleared away.

Newsstands were open selling papers and souvenirs, and by midmorning, some ice cream shops were starting to lift their gates. Notable exceptions were the iconic flower stalls near where the van came to a halt after killing at least 13 and injuring 100. And metal gates were closed at the entrance of La Boqueria, the expansive market that is one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions.

Enrique Camprubi, a city resident for 40 years who walks down Las Ramblas nearly every day, said besides the police, the scene didn’t appear very changed.

“We don’t have to be afraid,” said Camprubi, who volunteers at a nearby center named after Mother Theresa. “And we aren’t afraid because that’s what they want, the Islamic State, they want to scare us so that we stay at home. That is last thing we’re going to do.”

The number of pedestrians was about the same as a regular summer morning, but the crowd was much quieter than usual. Many somberly walked in silence, staring down at the distinctive curved paving stones.

A family from New York said outside La Boqueria that they were undeterred when they boarded a plane last night after hearing about the attack.

“We all feel fine, right?” Tara Lanza said as the whole family exchanged reassuring looks.

“It’s sad,” said her husband, John Lanza. “You can tell it’s obviously quieter than it usually is, but I think people are trying to get on with their lives.”

Their tour guide, Gaston Magrinat, an American who came to Barcelona in 1999, said he couldn’t help thinking that he or his kids could have been among the victims.

“Thinking how often I come down this avenue? Not just for work but also with family,” he said. “It’s a recreational area as well. You come with the kids and get ice cream and stuff like that. It could have easily been me.”

Webcams improve bond with babies

Webcams can help improve early bonding between parents and premature babies, a study has found.

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Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) analysed the views of parents and professionals using webcams to assist the process.

The majority of parents quizzed in the study, published in BMC Pediatrics, benefited from seeing their baby 24 hours a day, seven days a week in neonatal units.

The team interviewed 30 mothers and fathers and 18 professionals, including nurses, midwives, nursery nurses and doctors, in a Scottish hospital over a six-month period.

Parents said webcams gave them an increased feeling of closeness, enhanced emotional well-being and improved post-birth recovery. The technology also increased the involvement of family and friends through shared images from the post-natal area.

Those interviewed said webcams allowed them to “feel that they were with their baby” even during periods of separation.

They also said they became more responsive to their babies’ needs, and seeing their child helped mothers produce breast milk.

A small minority in the study, however, said the ability to see their baby round-the-clock heightened their anxiety rather than decreasing it, as the majority of parents reported.

Dr Susan Kerr, of GCU’s school of health and life sciences, said: “Our study appears to encourage the early bonding process between parents and their babies.

“The study is one of a few worldwide to have evaluated the use of webcam technology in neonatal units.

“Further work is required to assess the cost-effectiveness of webcam technology and also to evaluate its use in the family home following the mother’s discharge from hospital”.

‘Don’t call me a pioneer!’ Australia’s first hijab-wearing officer changing perceptions

Refusing to call herself a pioneer, the Senior Constable Maha Sukkar is inspiring other women of the Islamic faith to follow in her footsteps and set an example for police forces around the world.

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Walking the beat in Dandenong, in Melbourne’s south-east, Leading Senior Constable Maha Sukkar is a familiar face.

Migrating to Australia from Lebanon in 2000, it was an act of global terrorism a year later that sparked her desire to join the force.

Leading Senior Constable Sukkar said after the September 11 terror attacks, the attitudes of society towards her changed, so she embarked on a mission to change them back.

0:00 Maha Sukkar on becoming a police officer Share Maha Sukkar on becoming a police officer

“After September 11 those same people started saying bad things to me, to my face. I thought: what has changed? I am the same person I was the day before. So I wanted to change people’s perspectives.”

And in 2004 she did, making history as the first hijab-wearing officer.

In November that year, Maha Sukkar held the Qu’ran high above her head as she swore an oath to Victoria Police and received her badge from then police commissioner Christine Nixon.

“It was the best day of my life, even better than my wedding day. I still smile when I think about it. It was really hard work physically and mentally to convince Victoria Police that I can be part of [them] even if I have a headscarf on. The only difference is I might look a bit different but I’ll do the same job.”

Melbourne, November 26, 2004. Islamic police recruit Maha Sukkar receives her badge from Police Commissioner Christine Nixon at the Victoria Police AcademyAAP

Over her 13-year career in blue, she’s seen a lot of changes, mostly – she says – for the better.

Leading Senior Constable Sukkar said she still gets the occasional question about her headwear, but she delights in every opportunity to disprove the stereotype of a subservient hijab-wearing Muslim wife.

“I’m happily divorced. I’m a police officer who works night shifts and afternoon shifts. If I’m oppressed, how could I do that? I chose to wear it. My parents actually didn’t want me to wear it, but I chose to wear it.”

Her diversity is an asset on the Multicultural Liaison Unit at the Dandenong Police Complex.

Acting Inspector Chris Edwards said Leading Senior Constable Sukkar has not just helped change the way the region’s newly-arrived community members see the police, but also how the police think about the communities.

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“When I first came into this role, I wanted to get my head around the literature, tolerance of religions, tolerance of cultures. Maha said it’s not about tolerance. It’s about acceptance.”

Figures from the Victoria Police Muslim Association suggest, over the last decade, the number of officers in the state who identify as Muslim has risen to about 130.

But in a force of over 14,000, officers like Leading Senior Constable Sukkar are still a minority.

It’s something she said she’s working to change.

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“As I always tell people, we are part of the community, and in order to be part of the community, we need to help the community we are a part of. At the same time, [we] help the police understand more about our community, the multicultural community in general but the Muslim community in particular, and that way it’s a win-win for both.”

She has assisted more than 10 women of diverse backgrounds to join Victoria Police, but some believe her influence reaches much further than state and even national borders.

0:00 How to wear a hijab: Tutorial Share How to wear a hijab: Tutorial

The Islamic Council of Victoria’s Nail Aykan said he believes Leading Senior Constable Sukkar is not just the first hijab-wearing officer in Victoria, but in Australia and in many English-speaking countries.

He said she’s an example globally of how well diversity in law enforcement can work, “in profiling and modelling the diversification of the police force, to say ‘look, if it works for Victoria, if it works for Australia, it can work for us’.”

But, despite her achievements, Leading Senior Constable Sukkar refuses to be called a pioneer.

“I’m just a normal human being doing a job.”

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