Six civilians and one police officer were hurt when a car drove into people in the Spanish seaside resort of Cambrils early Friday, the regional government said, just hours after a similar, deadly attack in nearby Barcelona.
Police shot five Cambrils attackers dead, and said they were “working on the hypothesis that the terrorists shot dead in Cambrils could be linked to what happened in Barcelona.”
Spanish police said the five suspects were carrying bomb belts and had run over civilians.
Cambrils is a city south of Barcelona where a van mowed into pedestrians on Thursday, killing 13 people.
The regional government of Catalonia, where both Barcelona and Cambrils are located, confirmed the incident, which police earlier said qualified as a “possible terrorist attack.”
Catalonia police said on Twitter early Friday that officers were in Cambrils, a seaside resort town about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Barcelona. They called on people in the town not to go out on the streets.
Spain’s public broadcaster, RTVE, reported that police believe the suspects were planning an attack in Cambrils just hours after a van driver plowed into crowds of pedestrians on Barcelona’s most popular street in broad daylight, killing 13 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Police announced the arrest of two suspects in that attack, identified as a Spaniard and a Moroccan, but said the driver was still on the run.
Witnesses told of scenes of chaos and horror, with bodies strewn along the famous boulevard as other people fled for their lives, screaming in panic.
The rampage in a city hugely popular with tourists from around the world is the latest in a wave of attacks in Europe where vehicles have been used as weapons of terror.
As world leaders united in condemning the carnage, the IS propaganda agency Amaq claimed that it was carried out by “soldiers” from the jihadist group.
“We’re united in grief,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a televised address after rushing to Catalonia where Barcelona is located — a region in Spain’s northeast where a pro-independence movement has caused friction with the central government.
“Above all we’re united in the firm intention to defeat those who want to take our values and way of life from us.”
Regional interior minister Joaquim Forn said 13 people had died and another 100 were injured in what police were treating as a “terrorist attack”, warning that the death toll could rise further.
There were at least 18 nationalities among the victims who came from countries as varied as France, Venezuela, Australia, Ireland, Peru, Algeria and China, according to Spain’s civil protection agency.
Belgium said one of its citizens had died in the Las Ramblas assault, while The Hague said three Dutch were injured and a Greek diplomat reported three nationals had been wounded — a woman and her two children.