Five terrorists have been shot dead by the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalunya Police, and six civilians have been injured in an attack early on Friday morning in Cambrils (Tarragona).
One of the wounded is in critical condition , according to Emergències de la Generalitat. In addition, an agent has been slightly injured in the exchange of fire with the terrorists.
The vehicle in which they were travelling drove into a police control. Spanish media reported that the attackers’ vehicle overturned and when the men got out they were quickly fired upon by police.
According to sources, they all wore explosive belts. Four of the terrorists fled in one direction and another of them was shot when he tried to stab people as he escaped on foot. A series of controlled explosions was then carried out with the police now saying that the situation is under control.
At one o’clock in the morning, the mossos announced in the social network Twitter that there was an ongoing operation in the in the coastal town, 50 kms south of Barcelona, and they instructed all residents to remain indoors
They said that the shooting has prevented a multiple outrage of far more tragic consequences just hours after a van killed at least 13 people on Barcelona’s La Rambla, an attack that has now been claimed by the Islamic State .
Both the Cambrils attack and the deaths in Barcelona have now been linked to an attack which took place earlier in the week, last Wednesday, in Alcanar (Tarragona), where an explosion occurred in a house causing the death of one person.
On his Twitter account, just hours after the two attacks, the President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont , highlighted the work of the Mossos d’Esquadra. He said “Great work of the Mossos in these critical and tragic hours.”
Following the attack and the shootout with the terrorists, Cambrils is in very near lockdown with the police advising residents to stay indoors,
Meanwhile the death toll in Barcelona has risen to 13 people following the van attack on Thursday afternoon.
The van hit a crowd on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, causing more than 80 injuries, many of them serious, and at least 13 dead.
The vehicle was stopped by police about halfway down Las Ramblas. Although the driver fled he was subsequently a man was arrested later in the day and is now in detention. He is said to to be Driss Oukabir, a young man of Maghrebi, North African, origin. Another alleged attacker has died in a shootout when he failed to stop at a police checkpoint and a third man has also been arrested.
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In a brief communiqué whose authenticity could not be verified, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack according to the Generalitat de Catalunya.
The Interior Minister of the Generalitat, Joaquim Forn , has confirmed 13 dead and more than 80 injured, 15 of them very serious , in the attack. However in statements to the journalists made together with the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and the delegate of the Government in Catalunya, Enric Millo, thay all insisted that the figures are still to be absolutely confirmed and that the data, at this stage, is still provisional.
The attack occurred at the Las Ramblas intersection with Carrer Bonsuccés. After the attack the police force evacuated the area, while several ambulances attended the scene and were immediately tending to many of the injured people. The police asked people not to transit through the area of Plaza Cataluña.
The van would have left Plaza Catalunya heading toward the popular Barcelona street. The vehicle crossed Calle Canaletas and then crashed into a kiosk. All the people in the area have been evacuated. Many of them took refuge in local shops.
The van was rented in the city of Santa Perpetua de la Mogoda, according to police sources. It is described as being a white Fiat, with a registration number 7086JWD.
According to the same sources, the person who rented the vehicle was a young man of Maghrebi origin, Driss Oukabir who is a resident Spain. He lived in the town of Ripoll. Oukabir handed himself into the Catalan police, claiming that all of his identity documents had been stolen.
Another man has died in a shootout in Sant Just Desvern. The suspect drove his car, a white ford siesta, into two agents of the Mossos d’Esquadra at a check-point. Chase was given by police and he was subsequently stopped and shot dead three kilometres from where agents originally tried to arrest him, according to police sources. His link to the terrorist attack is still to be confirmed.
Earlier this evening the Generalitat has asked people to avoid going out into the street in the Plaza de Catalunya area as the police continue to put the evidence together.
The Generalitat also asked for the closure of the metro stations, Renfe and the Railways of the Generalitat (FGC) in Plaza Catalunya, as they hoped to cut off the escape routes of anyone involved in the incident.
The Belgian Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, has confirmed that a person of Belgian nationality is among the victims. “Unfortunately, we regret that there is a Belgian victim in Barcelona. I send my condolences to his family and relatives,” he said.
The President of the Government and all the main political leaders have also reacted on Twitter to the attack. Rajoy said that the priority is to take care of the wounded and to facilitate the work of the security forces.
King Felipe VI also condemned the terrorist attack in a message in which he says, “They are assassins, simply criminals who are not going to terrify us. All Spain is Barcelona, Las Ramblas will be everyone’s.”