Police make fourth arrest in Barcelona attack

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CBS Newspath

BARCELONA — Police in Barcelona have made a fourth arrest after a van targeted crowds in a tourist heavy district Thursday, killing 14 people including one American and injuring at least 100 others.

Authorities also killed five people and thwarted a second attack in a seaside resort just south of Barcelona. The men, in the resort town of Cambrils, were wearing fake explosive belts. Local media is reporting before being gunned down by police, the assailants hit several civilians and a police officer with a car.

Investigators said this incident is linked to the attack earlier in the day in Barcelona, where a van plowed through crowds in the historic Las Ramblas district, filled with tourists. An American witness, who asked not to be identified, arrived just as it was happening.

“I heard this just group of people scream. Then I looked to my left and I saw a white van. It looked to be as if he was going left to right hitting people at the little stands, people that were shopping.”

The Spanish Prime Minister called the attack “jihadi terrorism”. Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

“Any place where people gather, restaurants, squares, you can’t protect all of them and sadly the enemy, ISIS, is taking advantage of that,” said CBS News Senior National Security Analyst Fran Townsend.

Officials in Spain said citizens from 24 countries were among those killed and injured in Barcelona.

Leaders from around the world have united in support of Spain. President Donald Trump tweeted: “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!”

The American who was killed has not been identified. A second US citizen was injured.