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Barcelona attack: Italian man died in front of his wife and young children

A picture taken on August 18, 2017 shows a hat, flowers, candles and other items set up on the Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona to pay tribute to the victims of the Barcelona attack, a day after a van plowed into the crowd, killing 14 persons and injuring scores more on August 18, 2017.(AFP)
Spanish policemen walk in a cordoned off area after a van plowed into the crowd, killing 14 persons and injuring scores more on the Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017.(AFP)
DUBAI: The death toll in the Barcelona attacks rose to 14 on Friday when a woman injured in the town of Cambrils died, Catalan emergency services said.
Police shot dead five would-be attackers in Cambrils, south of Barcelona, after a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds on a famous avenue in Barcelona.
The news of the mounting death toll came as details of some of the dead continued to be revealed.
The stories included that of a man who was one of two Italians killed in the Barcelona attack. He died in front of his wife and two young children who narrowly escaped harm when a van plowed into tourists.
The death of Bruno Gulotta, 35, was announced by his employer, computer company Tom’s Hardware, on Friday.
The Foreign Ministry said two Italian nationals were among the 14 people killed in Thursday’s attack but did not identify them.
“Our friend and colleague Bruno Gulotta was run over and killed by an odious terrorist in the heart of Barcelona,” a statement on the company website read.
Paying tribute to the kindness and generosity of their co-worker, Gulotta’s colleagues said his violent death had left his wife Martina facing “trials no-one should have to bear.”
“We put ourselves in the shoes of little Alessandro, who was is about to start elementary school knowing his and his family’s life will never be the same again. And we think of baby Aria... who will never know her Dad.”
Italian media reported that Bruno had been holding five-year-old Alessandro’s hand just before he was hit by the van. Martina had one-year-old Aria in a baby carrier and managed to pull her son out of the way.
The family, from Legnano, were on holiday in the Catalan city.
The attack, which has been claimed by the Daesh group, left more than 100 people of at least 24 nationalities injured, as well as the 13 dead.
The Foreign Ministry said three Italians were among the injured but did not rule out the toll mounting.
“There are still other people to be identified and the Spanish authorities are working on that at the moment,” said Stefano Verracchia, the head of ministry’s crisis unit.
Meanwhile Germany’s election rallies will mourn victims of Spain’s deadly attacks, but they won’t be halted as they are a celebration of democracy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.
The victims will be remembered with a moment of silence, while “loud music and similar” would not be played, said Merkel.
“I wondered if we should still meet here today” after Thursday’s attacks that left 13 dead and more than 100 injured, said the German leader on the sidelines of a campaign event in Berlin ahead of a September 24 general election.
But she and leaders of rival political parties finally decided that “yes we will do that.”
“Because elections and the weeks of campaigning before that are a celebration of democracy, and therefore a celebration of our freedom,” she said.
“The terrorists will never understand that. But we know that our strength lies in democracy, freedom and respect of each individual,” said Merkel.
“Terrorism can cause times of pain and deep grief as it has done in Spain, but it can never defeat us,” she vowed.
A driver rammed a van into a crowd on Barcelona’s famous avenue Las Ramblas on Thursday afternoon, while eight hours later, an Audi A3 car plowed into pedestrians in the seaside city of Cambrils.
Thirteen Germans were wounded in the assault in Barcelona, some critically, a spokesman for Germany’s foreign ministry said, adding that it could not be ruled out that citizens were also among those killed in the attack.
Flags are flying at half mast at all official buildings in Germany.

(With AFP and Reuters)