Explosion close to Barcelona linked to terror attack

One person was killed in the explosion about 160km from Barcelona in the early hours of Thursday morning

Explosion close to Barcelona linked to terror attack

Police officers stand guard in a cordoned off area after a van ploughed into crowds, killing at least 13 people La Rambla in Barcelona, 17-08-2017. Image: Robin Utrecht/ABACAPRES

An explosion in the tourist district of Alcanar - about 160km from Barcelona - has been linked to yesterday’s terror attack that killed at least 13 people.

One person was killed in the explosion in the early hours of Thursday morning – hours before the van attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona City Centre.

Catalonian television channel TV3 has reported that the house blast, in the village of Alcanar Platja, also injured seven people, including some foreigners from France, Italy and Morocco.

Police have since said they suspect those in the house were "preparing an explosive device."

Hours after the van attack in Barcelona, Catalan police said they shot and killed five suspects in response to a second terrorist attack in the seaside resort town of Cambrils.

Catalan authorities say the attacks are linked.

In the Barcelona attack, a white van mounted the pavement of Las Ramblas, the main tourist area in the city, and struck dozens of people on Thursday afternoon.

Catalan authorities have confirmed that at least 13 people have died and more than 100 have been injured but said the number of dead could rise.

Police said they have arrested two people over the attack but they are still hunting the driver of the vehicle, who is said to have fled on foot.