BARCELONA (CBS NEWS/AP) – Police in Spain say they have shot and killed several people south of Barcelona while carrying out an operation in response to a terrorist attack.
The regional police for the Catalonia region said on Twitter early Friday that officers are in Cambrils, a seaside resort town about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Barcelona.
They called on people in the town not to go out on the streets.
Spain’s public broadcaster, RTVE, is reporting that regional police troopers have killed four people and injured another.
The broadcaster says police suspected they were planning an attack in Cambrils just hours after a van swerved onto a pedestrian promenade in Barcelona, killing 13.
A white van jumped the sidewalk in the city’s historic Las Ramblas district, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than 50. Spanish public broadcaster RTVE says one suspect has been arrested.
“We confirm the terrorist attack,” Catalan police said. “The protocol for terrorist attacks has been activated.”
Later Thursday, an Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement carried on its Aamaq news agency.
A regional interior minister confirmed on Twitter that at least 13 people were killed in the attack and more than 50 injured.
In a photograph shown by RTVE, at least five people were lying on the ground in the street Thursday afternoon and were apparently being helped by police and others. Videos of the scene recorded people screaming as they fled.
At this time, the extent of the victims’ injuries remains unclear.
On Twitter, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he is in contact with authorities and the priority is to attend to the injured.
Reuters reports two armed men reportedly entered a restaurant following the crash. Police say they have located a second van connected to the attack in the town of Vic.
Spain’s El Pais newspaper, citing police sources, says perpetrators of the van incident are holed up in a bar. Armed police ran down the streets and through a market, checking in stores and cafes, presumably in search of them.
Meantime, New York City police officials have dispatched heavily armed officers to Times Square and other locations as a precaution in response to the van attack in Spain.
NYPD spokeman Peter Donald said on Thursday that the department is “closely monitoring” the situation in Barcelona, where the van rammed into a crowd in a popular tourist section of the city.
Donald said the NYPD has also beefed up security around Spanish diplomatic spots in the city.
The precautions come at a time when the department had taken extra security measures around Trump Tower for the president’s visit there this week.