UPDATE: Barcelona terror attack: 16 killed, 3 Australians injured

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Barcelona
The suspected van is towed away from the area where it crashed into pedestrians at Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, August 18, 2017. Reuters/Sergio Perez

UPDATE: 18/8/17 4:40 p.m. AEST - The death toll of the Barcelona terror attack has reached 13, according to reports from Spain. However, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s office allegedly said that according to official advice, the number has reached 16. 

Three Australians are among 100 people injured after a van ploughed into a crowd in Las Ramblas district on Thursday. A woman from New South Wales suffered serious injuries. Two young men from Victoria are also believed to be injured.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed that an Australian woman was in a “serious but stable’” condition after being brought to a hospital. The two young men are yet to seek medical treatment.

"Two young Australian men have advised us that they were directly affected, they have gone back to their hotel and they will seek medical treatment in the morning,” Bishop said. She believes they are from Victoria.

Several people were reportedly forced into nearby shops, with around 80 people heading into a nearby church for safety. Australians unable to contact their family members and friends can call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s emergency centre on 1300 555 135.

Barcelona terror attack

Australian Susan McLean said she saw people sprinting down the tourist street. "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 in the “Today Show.”

Another eyewitness named Alan Dragovic, a former Adelaide resident, said he was "less than a block" away from the scene of the attack. "I just remember a whole pile of people running, didn't hear the crash of the car or anything, just started running as well," he told 9news.com.au. Australian woman Julia Monaco said it had become an “absolute pandemonium” in split second.

Mobile phone videos captured bodies being strewn along the street. The latest attack in the north-eastern Spanish city was said to be the country's deadliest since 2004.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement issued through its Aamaq news agency, the group said it was carried out “by soldiers of the Islamic State” in response to target countries involved in the coalition trying to drive the group from Syria and Iraq.

According to Police Major Josep Lluis Trapero, two men were arrested. One of them is a Moroccan descent, while the other is a Spanish national.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was quick to condemn the attack. He urged Aussies to “go about our lives in the Australian way.”

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