Woman, five suspects killed in another car attack in Spain

The car that slammed into a crowd in Cambrils, 120km south of Barcelona, where a similar attack took place on Thursday.
The car that slammed into a crowd in Cambrils, 120km south of Barcelona, where a similar attack took place on Thursday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

CAMBRILS • Young waiter Markel Artabe had just finished his shift in this quiet seaside town on the Catalan coast and was heading off for an ice cream when he heard shots.

"Between midnight and 12.30am, we were on the promenade by the beach," said the 20-year-old, wearing shorts and a sky-blue polo shirt, still shaken after the drama.

"Then we heard shots and thought, 'It must be fireworks'... But it was gunshots," he said in Cambrils, 120km south of Barcelona, which had witnessed a car attack only a few hours earlier.

In Cambrils, a regional government spokesman said "suspected terrorists driving an Audi A3 apparently knocked over several people before encountering" a police patrol, and then "the shooting began".

A woman, who was among six civilians injured when the vehicle slammed into the crowd, has died. The car's five occupants were also killed.

"It was bang, bang, bang. Shouting, more shouting. I threw myself onto the ground on the beach," another waiter, 21-year-old Joan Marc Serra Salinas, said in a restaurant where witnesses had gathered.

"From what people are saying here, those who carried out (the attack) were people my age."

Mr Artabe said he saw someone who appeared to be a foreigner lying on the ground with a gunshot wound. "His friends were crying 'help'," he said, although the authorities did not report any such death.

"I also saw dead bodies that seemed to be terrorists because they were wearing explosive belts." These were fake, said police.

Cambrils Mayor Cami Mendoza, at an impromptu press briefing in the street at about 5am (11am Singapore time), noted the "speed and efficiency" of the police response.

The town, like others in the region, was on high alert, with police helicopters flying overhead.

The police were hunting for the driver of the van in the Barcelona attack, which left at least 13 dead and was claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group.

Mr Mendoza took pains to reassure people, saying: "The situation is under control. In a few hours, Cambrils will be back to normal."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2017, with the headline 'Woman, five suspects killed in another car attack in Spain'. Print Edition | Subscribe