Spanish police shot and killed at least five suspected terrorists in the early hours of Friday morning in the Mediterranean resort town of Cambrils hours after a van was driven into crowds in central Barcelona, killing at least 13 people.
Officers with the Catalan regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra opened fire on four suspects in a vehicle who were reported to be wearing explosive belts. A fifth suspect was later shot in the town after he had been located by a helicopter.
Six people were injured in the operation, three of them police officers. A woman was stabbed by the fifth suspect as he fled.
The police believe the suspects were planning an attack following up on the events that took place in Barcelona
Catalan emergency services on Friday afternoon confirmed that a woman injured in the attacks has now died. The number of people killed in both the Barcelona van attack and the Cambrils terror attack was 14 as of 12.30 on Friday.
The incident in Cambrils took place at 1.15 am after a police patrol stopped a car near the marina. Dutch tourists in the town said the suspects ran into three people and ignored police who tried to stop them. The four suspects then got out of their vehicle and police opened fire, wounding one in the leg. A gunfight then ensued.
Camí Mendoza, the Mayor of Cambrils, a small town some eight kilometers from the popular resort of Salou, in Tarragona province, said that the Catalan regional government’s interior minister, Joaquim Forn, would give a press conference later on Friday.
“I would like to thank the Mossos for their speedy response; they were in the right place at the right time,” said Mendoza.
The Catalan regional police are working on the hypothesis that the suspects killed in Cambrils were planning an attack following up on the events that took place in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon.
“We are working on the hypothesis that the events in Cambrils are a terrorist attack. We have killed those presumed to be responsible,” said the Catalan police via its Twitter account.
Panic soon spread throughout Cambrils as the gunfire broke out, with tourists seeking refuge in hotels and bars. Four young men jumped into the sea and swam to the other side of the port. As day broke around 7am, forensic teams were on the scene taking fingerprints and collecting evidence.
English version by Nick Lyne.