TDrug smugglers chase an abandoned police motorboat in a southern Spanish port: Two police officers were killed and injured in Barbate in an attempt to arrest the criminals, authorities said Saturday.

According to police sources, members of the Guardia Civil were killed when drug smugglers rammed a police boat with their boat. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska spoke of “murder” and eight suspects were arrested.

Several Spanish media outlets released a video released by the Guardia Civil Society AUGC of the chase late Friday night, which involved several boats. One of the two injured members of the Guardia Civil had to be treated in hospital on Saturday, but his life was not in danger.

According to the information, among the eight detained persons, three people were in the boat that rammed the police boat. In addition, three suspects who “escaped from the boat” were caught. Two more detainees arrived in a vehicle to pick up the boat's crew.

“A Tragic Incident”

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska visited the port of Barbate on Saturday and spoke about the “murder” of the police officers. The government will “absolutely not give up” in the fight against drug trafficking.

The AUGC spoke of a “tragic incident” and called for a “thorough investigation.” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on the online service X (formerly Twitter) that he regretted the death of the two agents. The Spanish royal family was also “deeply saddened”.

Barbate is located in the Gulf of Cadiz on the Atlantic coast – not far from the Strait of Gibraltar. The Bay of Cádiz is an important point for drug smuggling between North Africa and Spain and thus to Europe. Spanish security forces often confiscate illegal drugs there.

Spain is home to some of Europe's most important drug trafficking hubs. The southern Spanish region of Andalusia is particularly affected – due to its proximity to Morocco, which is only a few kilometers away as the crow flies.