Early Friday morning, five terror suspects were shot and killed in an alleged terror attack south of Barcelona. The separate attack followed a deadly incident on Thursday, which killed at least 13 people and injured dozens more in Barcelona’s busy Las Ramblas tourist district. Here’s what you need to know.
- Police killed five attackers in Cambrils, a town south of Barcelona, following an operation there against that authorities called a terrorist attack
- Catalan emergency services said six civilians and one police officer were injured in Cambrils, which police said was linked to Thursday’s van attack in downtown
- Catalan police carried out several controlled explosions in Cambrils after they determined the attackers were carrying explosive belts
- At least 13 people are dead, and at least 80 people have been hospitalized after a van plowed into pedestrians in Barcelona on Thursday a Catalan official says
- One civilian – a Spanish woman – was killed in the Cambrils incident while several other civilians and a police officer were injured
- Police have arrested four people
- Islamic State claimed responsibility for the deadly rampage along the city’s most famous avenue
- Barcelona’s mayor has said the city will hold a minute of silence on Friday at midday
- Spanish officials say at least one Canadian has been impacted by the attacks
What happened in Cambrils
Police said they killed five attackers on Thursday night in Cambrils, a town south of Barcelona, to thwart an attack using explosive belts.
Six civilians and a police officer were injured when the attackers ran them over in a car, before police shot them dead and carried out controlled explosions of the bomb belts, which were confirmed on Friday by authorities to be fake. Two of the wounded civilians are in serious condition.
Police said early Friday morning that the situation in Cambrils was under control, and was linked to the van attack in Barcelona.
How the van attack unfolded
A van that mowed down pedestrians in Barcelona’s city center has killed at least 13 people and injured more than 80 others, Catalan police and the regional interior ministry said.
A man has been arrested following the incident, police said in a statement on Twitter.
Witnesses said the white van zigzagged at high speed down Las Ramblas, a busy avenue thronged with tourists, knocking down pedestrians and leaving bodies strewn across the ground.
Tom Gueller told the BBC: “I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that.
Around them, the boulevard was deserted, covered in rubbish and abandoned objects including hats, flip-flops, bags and a pram.
Emergency services warned people to avoid the area around Barcelona’s Placa Catalunya, one of the city’s main squares at the top of the Ramblas, and requested the closure of nearby train and metro stations.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajo said he was in contact with authorities, and the priority was to attend to the injured. “Maximum coordination to arrest the attackers, reinforce security and attend to all those affected,” he said on Twitter.
Mobile phone footage posted on Twitter showed several bodies strewn along the Ramblas, some motionless. Paramedics and bystanders bent over them, treating them and trying to comfort those still conscious.
How the leaders reacted
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended his sympathies through Twitter, condemning the terror attack.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair both called the incident “terrible” and expressed support for the victims.
President Donald Trump also took to Twitter to say that the United States stood ready to help Spanish authorities after what he called a “terror attack” in Barcelona.
Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona tweeted Thursday calling Barcelona a city of peace, saying that terror will not change who they are.
In a statement, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said “this cowardly attack has deliberately targeted those enjoying life and sharing time with family and friends. We will never be cowed by such barbarism.”
Catalonia’s regional president, Carles Puigdemont, told Barcelona broadcaster TV3: “Our priority is to save lives. And our second priority is the police investigation, to find the people responsible of this attack and anyone who has helped them directly or indirectly.”
Global Affairs Canada says Canadians in the Spanish city should monitor local media and follow the directions of local authorities.
Officials say questions should be directed to the Consulate of Canada, which is just a kilometre away from where the attack occurred, as well as the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
For information about the Barcelona attack, people can call +34 93 21 421 24.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUG. 18, 2017 8:56AM EDT