At least 13 people have been killed when a van driven by a suspect of Moroccan origin slammed into pedestrians in Ras Lambras district in downtown Barcelona, first such a terrorist attack in Spain in 13 years.
The Catalan police said they found a Spanish passport of the suspect inside the van and the attacker fled on foot. Shortly after the attack, the authorities announced that at least two suspects were arrested.
Later on Thursday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. It was the first terrorist attack in Spain since 2004, when a bombing attack killed at least 190 people, fueling the rise of a Socialist government and resulting in the withdrawal of Spanish military from Iraq.
The police also denied media reports that there was someone holed up in a bar. The local police evacuated bars and cafes in the Ras Lambras district as a precaution. The authorities also urged residents to stay indoors during the investigation.
Witnesses said the van sped before zigzagging in the street that is usually awash with tourists, mowing down the people left and right. Catalan Interior Minister official Joaquim Forn said on Twitter that 13 people were killed and more than 80 people were injured
President Donald J. Trump, who is vacationing in New Jersey, swiftly condemned the terrorist attack in a Twitter post. State Secretary Rex Tillerson offered assistance to Spain and vowed to hunt down terrorists wherever they are in the world.
Leaders of France and Britain also condemned the attack while Pope said he is praying for victims.