The father of a three-year-old who died in a terror attack in Spain delivered an emotional speech about his loss.

Xavi, 3, lost his life when a van rammed into a crowd in the popular tourist spot of La Rambla, Barcelona, killing 14 people on 17 August. He was walking with his sister Marina and other family members when the vehicle hit him.

"Thank you all. I love to see that the Rambla is full again. There is no place for fear or rancour," said Javier Martínez, the father of Xavi, according to local news site El Periodico.

He thanked all the security and emergency services that assisted the victims of the attack, including those who tried to reanimate his son with a defibrillator.

"I know there's another dead child. I have not been able to meet anyone, but I share the pain with them. With everyone. I also share the pain with the relatives of the terrorists. I share it. We are people," he continued.

Martínez explained he wanted his son not to have died in vain and, as he hugged the local imam, he said: "I need to hug a Muslim. These people should not have fear."

After his wife informed him about the attack las week, Martínez had to take a taxi to go to La Rambla as he could not drive. "My legs were shaking," he explained.

He then went to the Hospital de Sant Pau, where a doctor told him that, although Xavi had a pulse, he had not been responding to attempts of resuscitation for 20 minutes.

He then said that what exactly happened during the attack is unknown, although some media outlets have published what he defined as "speculations".

Concluding his speech, Martínez told the doctor who performed the autopsy on his son: "You know that you have done an autopsy to an angel."

Terror cell

Police idenitified Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan man, as the person who drove the van during the attack. He then fatally stabbed Pau Perez to steal his car, a white Ford Focus, in an attempt to flee from police.

Abouyaaqoub, who was killed after a days-long manhunt in Spain, was also the alleged ringleader of a 12-strong cell that orchestrated a similar vehicle attack in Cambrils on the morning of 18 August. One person died in that attack.

Isis claimed responsibility for the attack via its news agency Amaq. However, such claims have often come in the aftermath of similar attacks across Europe, and are not always reliable.

Authorities said the cell, now dismantled, had been radicalised by Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, who is believed to have died in an explosion at a house in Alcanar on 16 August.

Members of the cell were building explosive devices before the attack. Following the incident, they opted to use vehicles instead.

The only four surviving members of the cell were taken to court on 23 August. Two of them, Mohamed Houli Chemlal and Driss Oukabir, were charged with murder, membership of a terror organisation and the possession of explosives. They are being held in prison without bail.

Another suspect, Mohammed Aalla, was released on bail due to weak evidence, while Salah el Karib was held for further questioning.

Oukabir has always claimed he is innocent in spite of the fact that his documents were found in the vehicle used in the Barcelona attack. He maintains that his younger brother – shot dead by police during the Cambrils attack – had stolen his documents to hire the vehicle.

Barcelona terror attack
People gather at Plaza de Catalunya to observe a minute of silence for the victims of the Barcelona attack Javier Soriano/AFP