Barcelona: Spain came under repeated attack starting Thursday in what authorities called linked terrorist incidents, when a driver swerved a van into crowds in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, killing more than a dozen people and injuring scores of others.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the deadly rampage along the city’s most famous avenue on Thursday, which was packed with tourists taking an afternoon stroll. The death toll could rise, with more than 100 injured, as per sources.
As security forces hunted for the van’s driver, who was seen escaping on foot, police said they had killed five attackers on Thursday night in Cambrils, a town south of Barcelona, to thwart a “terrorist attack” using explosive belts. Six civilians and a police officer were injured in the operation.
Police said the Cambrils plot was linked to the van attack.
Before the van ploughed into the tree-lined walkway of Las Ramblas, one person was killed in an explosion in a house in a separate town southwest of Barcelona, police said.
It was still not clear how many people had been involved in the van attack and other incidents on Thursday.
The most deadly was the driver of a tractor-trailer who targeted Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice in July 2016, killing 86 people. In December 2016, 12 people died after a driver used a hijacked trick to drive into a Christmas market in Berlin.