Spanish police on Friday said that they killed five terrorists in the resort town of Cambrils, hours after terrorists attacked civilians in Barcelona.
“We are working on the hypothesis that events in Cambrils were a terrorist attack. We have killed its alleged perpetrators,” Catalan police said on Twitter.
Six civilians and a police officer were injured when the attackers ran them over in a car before police shot them dead.
Police said that the five terrorists were wearing explosive belts.
A spokeswoman for the force said that officers shot dead four alleged perpetrators, with a fifth later died from injuries sustained during the raid.
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont thanked police involved in the operation in these “critical and tragic hours”.
Catalonia police said they believed the two attacks, as well as an explosion on Wednesday night in Alcanar, 200 kilometres south of Barcelona, in which one person died and a house collapsed, were all connected.
However, Catalan police chief Josep Luis Trapero earlier said that there was so far no evidence that another incident, in which police shot dead a man after he tried to evade a checkpoint while leaving Barcelona hours after the first attack, was linked.
The ISIS terrorist group said via its affiliated Amaq news agency that its “soldiers” were responsible for the attack on Las Ramblas, a popular tourist spot in Barcelona.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who cut short his holiday to travel to Barcelona, announced three days of official mourning and launched a staunch defense of democratic values.
“We are not only united in mourning. We are above all united in the resolute will to defeat those who want to take away our values and our way of life,” he said.