Filipina's 7-year-old son missing after Barcelona attack
MANILA, Philippines – A 7-year-old Australian boy remains missing after being separated from his Filipino mother during the recent Barcelona terror attack, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday, August 19.
The boy was with his 43-year-old mother when drivers plowed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas Boulevard in Central Barcelona on Thursday, August 17.
The incident left 14 dead and injured more than 100 others. (READ: Spain twin vehicle attacks: What we know)
His mother suffered from serious injuries but is in stable condition in the hospital.
According to Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Sarah Arriola, the mother and son were in Barcelona to attend the wedding of a cousin from the Philippines. They were from Australia.
Currently, the father is on his way to Barcelona from Sydney to search for his missing son.
The Barcelona attack was claimed by the terrorist Islamic State (ISIS) group. Some 8 hours later in Cambrils, a city South of Barcelona, another car rammed into pedestrians injuring 6 civilians and a police officer. (READ: Spain seaside city attacks: What we know)
Police arrested two suspects, identified as a Spaniard and a Moroccan, but said the driver was still on the run.
DFA to assist victims
In its statement Saturday, the DFA committed to extend assistance to the families of those who suffered injuries from the attack.
"It saddens us to inform the public that a kababayan (countryman) of ours from Australia and her 7-year-old son are among the victims of last Thursday's terrorist attack in Barcelona," Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.
"I have directed our Embassy in Madrid to proceed to Barcelona and extend all possible assistance to our injured kababayan and to exert all efforts to help find her son," he added.
Four Irish citizens of Filipino descent also suffered injuries from the attack. (READ: 4 Filipino-Irish family members hurt in Barcelona attack)
The DFA said the surgery on the 5-year-old boy who suffered a leg injury from the incident was successful.
Currently, the Philippine Embassy in Madrid and the Honarary Consulate General in Barcelona are in close contact with the Filipino community to check if there are other Filipinos who were among the casualties.
"We will continue to exert all efforts until we are sure that there are no other Filipinos among the victims of this dastardly act," Arriola said.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the innocent victims who perished and those who got injured in Barcelona," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said. – Rappler.com