BRUSSELS — Spain came under repeated attack starting Thursday in what authorities called linked terrorist incidents, when a driver swerved a van into crowds in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, killing more than a dozen people and injuring scores of others. Early Friday, an attempted separate attack unfolded in a town down the coast. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Barcelona violence.
The initial attack broke the peace of a warm summer afternoon in a packed, tourist-friendly area of Barcelona at the peak of vacation season, and the victims came from well beyond the city’s borders. Authorities said that 15 people had suffered serious injuries and that the death toll could rise. More than 100 people were hurt, said Joaquim Forn, the interior minister of the Catalan regional government.
Josep Lluís Trapero, a senior Catalan police official, told reporters that two men were arrested in connection with the attack, a Moroccan national and a Spanish citizen from the enclave of Melilla. The driver is still thought to be at large, he said.
Early Friday, police said they thwarted what they thought was an attempt at a second, connected attack, in the Catalan town of Cambrils, 60 miles southwest of Barcelona, by fatally shooting four suspects. A fifth suspect was injured. Seven other people were injured in the incident, including a police officer, police said. They offered no additional details.