UPDATED | Spain terror attacks: 13 killed and 100 injured in Barcelona and Cambrils attacks

13 killed and 100 injured in attacks on Spanish cities after cars plough into crowds • Five terror suspects shot dead in Cambrils, while earlier explosion at house in Alcanar is also linked to Las Ramblas attack

17 August 2017, 5:26pm
Last updated on 18 August 2017, 7:59am
The scene of the attack in Cambrils
The scene of the attack in Cambrils
A white van ploughed into crowds on the Ramblas tourist area in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon at 5pm, in what police have desribed as a terrorist attack.

Up to 13 people are confirmed dead and 100 injured after the van crashed into a crowd of people on the promenade.

Spanish policeman later shot dead five suspected terrorists in the coastal town of Cambrils early on Friday, southwest of Barcelona, after they drove over pedestrians as part of what appeared to be a second terror attack that same day.

Some of the suspects, who were travelling in an Audi A3, were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts in the rampage.

The video below, obtained by Spanish media, shows one of the five men confronting officers before being shot at several times. The terrorist managed to stumble back to his feet while police continued to fire, before eventually being shot down again while attempting to cross the road. The man seen in the footage is believed to have stabbed a woman before being taken down.

WARNING: Video includes shocking footage and strong language

A widespread security operation is underway following a terrorist attack in Barcelona
A widespread security operation is underway following a terrorist attack in Barcelona
A person stretchered out of a mall by medical services
A person stretchered out of a mall by medical services
A van has rammed into crowds at Las Ramblas at considerable speed, according to eye witnesses
A van has rammed into crowds at Las Ramblas at considerable speed, according to eye witnesses
The attack in Cambrils, in which six bystanders and a policeman were also wounded, came at the end of 24 hours of shocking violence along the Catalan coast, which the police said was the work of a terrorist cell determined to “kill as many people as possible”.

Video footage from Cambrils, 120km from Barcelona, showed three bodies lying on the ground in the town’s port. The police urged local residents to stay indoors and later carried out controlled blasts on suspected explosive devices, amid reports the suspects had been wearing suicide vests.

Part of the cell is thought to have blown itself up in the early hours of Thursday morning while trying to assemble a bomb in a house in another coastal town, Alcanar Platja, some 200km south along the coast from Barcelona. One person was killed and other wounded in an initial explosion that destroyed the house. Police and firefighters who came to the scene were wounded by a second blast.

The Alcanar explosions were initially reported to have been caused by gas canisters. The alleged link with a terrorist cell was revealed by the police only after the devastating Barcelona attack.

Online footage showed people lying on the ground along the Ramblas pavement across a distance of roughly 200 metres, many of whom were very badly injured.

Spanish police said the “massive crash” happened on Las Ramblas in an area of the city popular with tourists. This is the latest terrorist attack using a vehicle in Europe, following similar atrocities in Nice, Berlin and London that have claimed more than 100 lives in total.

Television pictures showed a crashed van stopped on top of a Joan Míro mosaic halfway down Las Ramblas. It reportedly entered the wide boulevard where it meets the Plaça de Catalunya, then drove towards the port area, meaning it would have covered more than 500 metres. 

It is also being reported that two armed men have entered a restaurant and have taken several people hostage in Raval district, on Calle Tallers towards the end of Las Ramblas.

Las Ramblas is an iconic tourist hotspot in the Catalonian city which is full of stalls and shops and runs through the heart of Barcelona. The centre of the road is pedestrianised but cars can travel on either side.

There were separate reports that a suspect had been arrested, but it was not clear whether this referred to the same person. A second van linked to the attack – assumed to have been used as getaway car – has been found in the small town of Vic in Catalonia.

Police officers ordered shops and restaurants in the area to close in the wake of the crash.

Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat confirmed there were no Maltese nationals among those injured or dead.