• Six of the women were attacked as they waited at the Camp de l’Arpa station
  • WARNING: Article contains images readers may find upsetting

At least ten women were attacked at a Barcelona metro station by a man believed to have targeted them because of their gender, police have said, as investigators are probing the vile assaults as a possible hate crime.

It was initially thought the aggressor, a 30-year-old Moroccan man, could have been acting under the influence of drink and drugs when he assaulted the women in a spree of violent attacks.

He was filmed punching one of his unsuspecting victims in the face and slamming her to the floor as she listened to music on headphones and looked at her mobile, leaving her with a perforated eardrum.

Now it has emerged a police unit specialising in tackling hate crimes is leading the ongoing probe after officers studied CCTV footage.

They have concluded the man appeared to have targeted only women and may have picked them out randomly because of their gender.

The man  brutally punching an unsuspecting young woman as she listened to music on headphones and looked at her mobile phone

The attacker hit his last victim so hard he lost his balance and fell to the ground as she hit the floor

The man is seen brutally punching an unsuspecting young woman as she listened to music on headphones and looked at her mobile phone

Six of the women, including the one punched in the face in the most savage assault, were attacked as they waited on the platform at Camp de l’Arpa station on line five of the Barcelona metro.

The attacker hit his last victim so hard he also lost his balance and tumbled as she fell to the ground. 

Police are understood to have gathered evidence pointing to at least four more assaults.

They went public yesterday morning with an appeal for victims to come forward over the incident after arresting the suspect late on Friday night.

The unnamed detainee is said to have previously committed a number of thefts, although he appeared to be making no attempt to steal anything from the women he assaulted on Friday morning.

Police initially formally identified him after he was intercepted by tube security staff before releasing him with the intention of preparing a full report so he could be summoned to attend court at a later date for questioning.

It was thought he had only committed a minor assault before the full scale of the violence became apparent.

He was re-arrested around 11pm on Friday after officers had been handed the CCTV showing him attacking several women on the station platform and seriously injuring one of his victims. 

Many of the female commuters had already boarded their train and left the station by the time officials intervened.

The man lashing out. The sequence of assaults took place yesterday morning at Camp de l'Arpa station on line five of the Barcelona metro

The man can be seen walking down the platform and lashing out at different women before knocking one woman to the floor

At least two Good Samaritans are said to have been assaulted as they tried to chase after him after he targeted the girl with headphones on.

A spokesman for the regional Mossos d’Esquadra police force in Barcelona urged the suspect’s female victims to come forward.

They confirmed yesterday: ‘On Friday night we arrested a man for assaulting several women at the Camp de l’Arpa metro station in Barcelona.

‘We are investigating if there are more women who were assaulted.

‘If you have been a victim, report it to any police station.’

It was not immediately clear how many women had answered the police appeal and come forward to say they had been attacked.

Tania Verge, Catalan Minister for Equality and Feminism, tweeted: ‘All our support for the women who suffered an assault on Barcelona Metro’s Line 5.

‘We put gender-based violence support services at your disposal.’

There has been a rising trend of violence against women in Catalonia in recent years.

Police recorded a total of 14,137 complaints related to gender-based domestic violence last year, local media reported, a 9.6 per cent increase compared to 2022. 

The region saw 13,278 women report being victims of gender-based violence at the hands of their partners or ex-partners, with 70 per cent of them aged between 21 and 50.  

In November, thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona, and other Catalonian cities, to protest gender-based violence. 

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