An Australian woman cheated death for the third time in three months when she narrowly avoided being directly caught up in the Islamist terror attack that convulsed Barcelona on Thursday.
Julie Monaco, 26, from the Victoria state capital of Melbourne, was shopping with friends in a mall when terrorists drove a van into pedestrians and shoppers in the Las Ramblas district of Barcelona.
This was the third time Monaco had brushed with terrorism since she began a European tour in May but she told an Australian radio station she will not be deterred from seeing the world or enjoying all the sights that Europe has to offer.
In June, she was put in lockdown on the London Underground when terrorists plowed across London Bridge before going on a murderous knife rampage in nearby Borough Market.
Days later, Monaco was in Notre-Dame in Paris when a police officer was stabbed outside the famous cathedral. French police shot the Algerian man who reportedly attacked them while shouting “this is for Syria.”
Then on Thursday morning she had to throw herself to the floor of a Las Ramblas fashion boutique as frantic pedestrians banged on windows and fled for their lives.
“At first we thoughts it was a simple car accident, and I think that’s what you hope,” Monaco said. “But as soon as everyone started running, that’s when I think I realised that we’d been caught up in something much more serious than we first thought.”
Monaco went on to talk of the fear she and her fellow shoppers felt as they watched people rush out of the mall and then the fury that engulfed her as she had to contend with the fact that her life could be threatened by terrorists when all she wanted to do was enjoy a holiday.
Asked whether or not she felt the time had come to end her overseas sojurn, Monaco was defiant.
“I don’t feel like I want to go home…I feel like I want to stay here and not let them – whoever they may be – win.
“I’m going to see what I came here to see.”
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