Following a second terrorist attack on Cambrils in Spain, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports that it is reaching out to its 24 member companies in the country to offer assistance following yesterday’s terrorist attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona.
“ASTA is sickened by yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Barcelona,” ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby said in a written release. “Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones in the attacks and the people of Spain as a whole.”
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) also issued a statement condemning the attacks.
“I am extremely saddened to hear about these callous attacks in Spain,” said WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara. “My heart goes out to the victims, their friends and families. Barcelona and Cambrils are two beautiful and strong tourist spots. The Travel & Tourism sector offers its full support to all those impacted – both destinations, Spain, and its people – as it is going through these difficult times.”
The Daily Telegraph reports that a second terrorist attack took place in the coastal resort town of Cambrils hours after the first attack in Barcelona. One woman died and six other people were injured when gunfire broke out near the town’s beachfront promenade early Friday. The attackers’ vehicle overturned and the men inside were fired on by police when they exited, with five attackers dying in the exchange. Police reported that the attackers were wearing explosive belts, which were later found to be fake.
According to the BBC, a manhunt remains under way in Spain for the driver of the van used in the Barcelona attack. Police are also working on the hypothesis that both attacks are linked to ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack, and that they were prepared over a substantial period of time in a house in Alcanar, a small town south of Barcelona. Explosions destroyed that building Wednesday evening when gas canisters that were apparently being prepared for use in one or more attacks in Barcelona exploded.
According to a separate report in The Daily Telegraph, Las Ramblas reopened Friday morning following yesterday’s attack, which killed 13 people and injured at least 80 more. Visit Barcelona’s official Twitter account reports that it held a minute of silence to condemn terrorism in Catalunya Square.
We'll be joining today for a minute of silence to condemn terrorism and share the grief will all victims: Catalunya Square, 12 pm— Barcelona Turisme (@BarcelonaInfoEN) August 18, 2017
The incidents are similar to a number of vehicular terrorist attacks that have struck Europe recently, including an attack on London Bridge, as well as attacks in France, Germany, Britain and elsewhere.
Europe is currently under a travel alert from the U.S. State Department warning American citizens that terrorist continue to target tourist attractions, transit hubs, markets and shopping areas, and other “soft targets.” The alert is set to continue through the summer travel season, expiring September 1.