Spain saw one of its most violent days in recent memory as a spate of incidents throughout the country appeared to be connected to a terror attack Thursday in Barcelona that left 13 people dead and more than 100 injured.
Authorities said they are working under the assumption that two other deadly events, a terrorist incident in the seaside city of Cambrils and a house explosion farther down the coast in Alcanar, were linked to the van attack in Barcelona that had ISIS taking credit.
Also Thursday, two police officers in Barcelona were hurt when they were hit by a car, but police were unsure whether that was related to the other incidents.
The deadly events began in the early evening with a van plowing through crowds on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona. Authorities said of the 80 people taken to hospitals, 15 were seriously hurt.
As police searched for the van driver, Spain’s Prime Minister called it an act of “jihadi terrorism.”
Here are the latest developments in a tragic day:
• Two suspects – one from Morocco, one from the Spanish enclave of Melilla – were arrested in connection with the Barcelona attack, Catalan Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero said.
• One suspect in the Barcelona attack is on the run. “The driver abandoned the van and escaped from the area,” Trapero said.
• About 115 kilometers to the southwest, there was a second attack early Friday. Catalan police tweeted that five suspected terrorists were killed in Cambrils. Emergency officials said six civilians and a police officer were injured.
• One person was killed in an explosion at a house in Alcanar, around 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Barcelona.
• Catalan police said early Friday they are “working under the hypothesis that the terrorists taken down in Cambrils were related to the events that took place in Barcelona and Alcanar.”
• A driver ran over two police officers at a security checkpoint in Barcelona, police said, and the driver was found near the city. The two officers suffered minor injuries and did not need hospital treatment, police said. It was unclear whether that incident was related to the terror attack.
• ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, said the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack were “soldiers of the Islamic State.” However, ISIS has not explicitly claimed responsibility.
The Barcelona attack was one of the most deadly in Spain since more than 190 people were killed in a March 2004 attack against commuter trains.