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Panic in Spain as a flash mob is mistaken for a militant attack

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By Catherine Hardy  with AFP, Reuters
Panic in Spain as a flash mob is mistaken for a militant attack

Eleven people have been treated for minor injuries after crowds in a Spanish coastal resort mistook a flash mob-style performance for a militant attack.

Tensions are high after a series of attacks claimed by ISIL in France and Germany over recent weeks.

Eighty four people died on the seafront in the French resort of Nice in July after a lorry was deliberately driven through the crowds.

Flashmob event

Scores of people responded to calls on social media to go to Platja d’Aro in the north-eastern region of Catalonia on Tuesday evening.

Reports in the papers say they were asked to pretend to be paparazzi.

Participants brandished tripods and selfie sticks and chased someone pretending to be a celebrity.

What happened?

However, passers-by mistook the objects for guns and fled.

The 11 people taken to hospital were treated for minor injuries, anxiety attacks and heart palpitations.

Police say at least two were kept in for treatment.

Has anyone been arrested?


Five German women, aged between 20 and 25, have been arrested and charged with public order offences.

In tweets

Footage uploaded to social media shows people screaming and running through the streets.

Children are crying while broken chairs and crockery lie on the ground.

What they are saying

“There are some things you do not joke about,” – Regional President Carlos de Puigdemont