Spanish police are investigating a “terrorist attack” in Catalonia just days after the one-year anniversary of two assaults in the country’s northeastern region that killed 16 people.
An officer shot dead a man armed with a knife on Monday at 5:45am (03:45 GMT) as he attempted to attack a police station in the town of Cornella, 10km from the regional capital Barcelona, local police commissioner Rafel Comes told reporters.
“We are treating it as a terrorist attack. The officer used her gun to save her own life,” Comes said.
There was no evidence linking the attacker with a terrorist cell, Comas said, and documents found on him suggested he was an Algerian national.
Police searched his home, located near the site of the attack, as part of their ongoing investigation.
Anti-terrorism police sources told AFP news agency the attacker was a 29-year-old Algerian male who lived in the area.
Security was reinforced at police stations across the region following the incident.
Monday’s attack took place three days after the first anniversary of a pair of deadly assaults by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in the region that left 16 people dead and more than 120 others wounded.
A man drove a van into crowds on Barcelona’s popular Las Ramblas boulevard, killing 14. A separate knife attack in the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils, further south, killed two other people.
Last year’s attack was the worst on Spanish soil since train bombings in the capital Madrid in 2004 killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800 others.