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September 23, 2017

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Boy missing as many countries mourn Barcelona attack victims

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Emilio Morenatti / AP

People gather at a memorial tribute of flowers, messages and candles to the victims on Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas promenade on the Joan Miro mosaic, embedded in the pavement where the van stopped after killing at least 13 people in Barcelona , Spain, Friday, Aug. 18, 2017.

PARIS (AP) — An Italian father who saved his children's lives but lost his own. An American celebrating his first wedding anniversary. A Portuguese woman celebrating her birthday with her granddaughter. These were but a few of the more than 100 people from around the world killed or injured in Barcelona's attacks.

They leave behind devastated loved ones in nearly three dozen countries, a testimony to the openness and global attraction of the vibrant seaside city.

World leaders mourned lost compatriots Saturday as families and friends identified bodies, cared for the injured and searched for the missing after suspected Islamic extremists zig-zagged down Barcelona's crowded Las Ramblas promenade in a van. That attack and a related rampage Friday in the popular Spanish seaside town of Cambrils killed 14 people and injured 126 others.

Here is a look at some of the victims:

Carmen Lopardo, 80, Italy

Lopardo, apparently the oldest person to die in the attack, was among three Italians killed in Barcelona, according to Italy's foreign ministry.

In a statement, it said Lopardo was killed in the "vile terrorist attack in Barcelona," without providing details.

News reports said Lopardo was an Italian who had immigrated to Argentina in 1950 and was visiting Barcelona.

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Grand-daughter and grandmother, 20 and 74, Portugal

The two were in Barcelona to celebrate the grandmother's birthday when they were caught up in the horror on Las Ramblas, according to Portuguese media reports.

The older woman was reported dead Friday but the younger woman was initially reported as missing. The 20-year-old's body was later identified, Prime Minister Antonio Costa confirmed her death in a statement to reporters Saturday.

Their names were not released.

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Boy missing, 7, Australia and Philippines

A 7-year-old boy is missing since the attack, when his mother was badly wounded and the two were separated, according to the Philippines government.

The two were in Barcelona to attend the wedding of a cousin from the Philippines, according to Philippines' Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Arriola.

The boy's father, a British citizen, was en route to Barcelona to try to find his son, Arriola said.

The mother, a 43-year-old Filipino woman, was hospitalized. She had been based in Australia for the past three or four years, Arriolo said in a statement.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has asked people to pray for the boy, who has Australian citizenship.

"All of us as parents know the anguish his father is going through, and his whole family is going through, as they rush to seek to find him in Barcelona," Turnbull said.

The family's names were not officially released. Friends and relatives appealed online for help finding him.

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Pepita Codina, 75, Spain

Pepita Codina's death was confirmed by Xavier Vilamala, the mayor of Hipolit de Voldrega, the town of 3,000 people where she was from near Barcelona.

Vilamala said on Twitter he was "very sad and distressed" by the news.

Local media reported that Codina's daughter, Elisabet, was injured in the attack, but is currently out of danger at Hospital del Marin Barcelona.

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Bruno Gulotta, 35, Italy

A father from Legnano in northern Italy is being praised as a hero who protected his children during an attack in Barcelona.

One of his Gulotta's work colleagues, Pino Bruno, told the Italian news agency ANSA that he saved the life of his two young children — Alessandro, 6, and Aria, 7 months — by throwing himself between them and the van that mowed people down.

Bruno said he spoke to Gulotta's wife, Martina, and she told him her husband had been holding the 6-year-old's hand on the tourist-thronged avenue in Barcelona when "the van appeared suddenly."

"Everyone knelt down, instinctively, as if to protect themselves," Bruno said, adding that Gulotta put himself in front of his children and was fatally struck.

Gulotta was a sales manager for Tom's Hardware Italia, an online publication about technology. "Rest in peace, Bruno, and protect your loved ones from up high," read one tribute on the company's website.

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Silvina Alejandra Pereyra, 40, Argentina and Spain

Argentina's Foreign Ministry says Pereyra, an Argentine-Spanish dual citizen who resided in Barcelona for the last 10 years, is among those who died.

It says in a statement that her death was confirmed through family members living in Bolivia after a cousin identified her body at a morgue in Barcelona.

The Argentine government expressed its deep regret over the pain caused to Pereyra's family and friends and said its diplomatic missions in Barcelona and Madrid are working to assist.

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Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, Spain

One of his nieces, Raquel Baron Lopez, said on her Twitter account that Rodriguez, 60, died immediately when he was struck by the van.

"We are a broken family," Lopez posted on Twitter.

The mayor of Lanteira, the southern town in Spain where Rodriguez was born, confirmed his death.

While his age is not clear, relatives have told local media that Rodriguez was a 57-year-old machine operator who was strolling with his family along Las Ramblas when the attack occurred. His wife, badly injured in the attack, worked at a meat shop in Rubi, a nearby town where they both lived.

Spanish website Europa Press said his 3-year-old grand-nephew was among other victims.

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Luca Russo, 25, Italy

One of Italy's three victims in the Barcelona van attack is being mourned as a brilliant young engineer dragged to his death before his girlfriend's eyes.

A determined Luca Russo, 25, already had a job in electronic engineering, no easy feat in Italy, where youth unemployment runs stubbornly high.

"We were investing in him, we wanted to make him grow professionally," the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Stefano Facchinello, one of the partners in the Padua area company where Russo had worked for a year, as saying.

The girlfriend, Marta Scomazzon, who was hospitalized with a fractured foot and elbow, told an aunt that "we were walking together, then the van came on top of us."

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Ana Maria Suarez, Spain

The Spanish Royal family sent condolences to Suarez's family in its Twitter account after Ana Maria died in the attack in the resort town of Cambrils.

According to local media, the woman was originally from the city of Zaragoza, and was on vacation with her family. Her husband and one of her sisters are injured in a hospital.

She is the only civilian to have been killed in Cambrils, where attackers wearing fake explosives belts were shot to death by police.

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Jared Tucker, 42, USA

California resident Jared Tucker and his new bride had just sent joyful pictures from their first trip to Europe, a vacation they'd saved for to celebrate their 1-year anniversary. The last pictures arrived a day before tragedy struck.

Tucker's family in Northern California learned Friday that he was among those killed in the truck attack in Barcelona, the only known American fatality.

Jared worked with his father in a family business remodeling swimming pools. He had "a magnetic personality and people loved him," his dad said. He liked to fish, play golf and other sports and he was deeply in love with his wife, a schoolteacher, his father said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed condolences to the victim's family.

Jared Tucker leaves behind three daughters, his sister said in a message posted on a fundraising website.

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Elke Vanbockrijck, Belgium

The local soccer club in her hometown of Tongeren held a moment of silence Friday night for Vanbockrijck, as members honored a woman who clearly left her mark on the team.

She was at the KFC Heur Tongeren soccer club "nearly every day" ferrying her 10- and 14-year-old boys back and forth to training and matches, said team president Arnould Partoens.

The family was on vacation in Barcelona. The boys and their father, a policeman, were unhurt, he said.

Team vice-president Herwig Dessers said coaches and players would stand in silence to remember her over the next few days "and talk to the children about what happened."

A picture of Vanbockrijck now rests on the bar inside the clubhouse.