Hours after Spain suffered its most serious terror attack in more than a decade, Spanish police claimed to have stopped a second attack just 70 miles south of the first one (which occurred in Barcelona), in the coastal town of Cambrils.
Spanish police confirmed to the Guardian Thursday night that they had shot four suspects dead and injured a fifth suspect who was apprehended and later also died, in an operation that also somehow left six bystanders and a police officer injured. Some Spanish media, including El Pais, reported on that the assailants in Cambrils used a van to run over the injured bystanders, however authorities have yet to confirm this new information.
On Thursday, a van charging down the tourist-flooded thoroughfare of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring 80 others. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
Spanish news sources reported that the suspects whom police fatally shot in Cambrils appeared to be wearing explosive belts. Spanish police confirmed to the Guardian they are operating under the assumption that the attack on Las Ramblas, the foiled Cambrils attack, and an explosion that killed one person and injured several others in Alcanar Platja (125 miles outside Barcelona), also on Thursday, are related.
The use of vans to mow down crowds and spread terror has become something of a trend in European cities over the past few years, with similar attacks having taken place in France, Germany, and Britain. The vehicular attack orchestrated across the pond in Charlottesville, Virginia this past week also, of course, comes to mind, though motivated by an allegiance to a different hateful ideology.
Though the driver in the Barcelona attack remains at large, two people were arrested on Thursday, the New York Times reports, including the man whose identification document was used to rent the van.