This article was originally published on August 17, 2017. It has since been updated.
Spain's public broadcaster, RTVE, says police suspected they were planning an attack in Cambrils just hours after the deadly van attack in Barcelona. The broadcaster is reporting that the suspects shot and killed may have been carrying suicide explosive belts.
RTVE reports that the suspects tried to carry out a similar attack to the one in Barcelona, which left 13 people dead earlier Thursday, by driving a vehicle into pedestrians. The police force for Spain's Catalonia region says six civilians have been injured.
RTVE ran a video of Cambrils' promenade in which volleys of gunshots could be heard while sirens wailed and people's screams could be heard.
The confrontation came about eight hours after a van swerved through a pedestrian walkway in a popular destination in downtown Barcelona. The force says it is working on the theory that the Cambrils suspects were linked to the Barcelona attack, as well as to a Wednesday night explosion in the town of Alcanar in which one person was killed.
Original story follows.
A white van ploughed into crowds on the pavement in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district this afternoon, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists. There are several injuries and fatalities, police said. Spain's El País newspaper says that Barcelona authorities are investigating the van crash as a terror attack, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
In a photograph shown by public broadcaster RTVE, three people were lying on the ground in the street of the northern Spanish city on Thursday afternoon, apparently being helped by police and others. Other videos showed five people down and recorded people screaming as they fled the scene.
Police cordoned off the broad, popular street, ordering shops and nearby Metro and train stations to close. They asked people to stay away from the area so as not to get in the way of emergency services. A helicopter hovered over the scene.
Las Ramblas, a street of stalls and shops that cuts through the center of Barcelona, is one of the city's top tourist destinations. People walk down a wide, pedestrianised path in the centre of the street, but cars can travel on either side.
El País quoted unnamed police sources as saying the perpetrators of the crash were holed up in a bar in Tallers Street. There was no immediate police confirmation of the report.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.