Tourists run in panic after flashmob at coastal resort backfires

Hundreds of tourists ran in panic after a flashmob-style performance was mistaken for a terrorist attack at a Costa Brava resort.

Diners at restaurants in Platja d-Aro in Girona, Catalonia smashed plates and pushed over tables and chairs to escape after mistaking flashmobbers for terrorist attackers.

The false alarm came after people, responding to social media invitations, descended on the resort on Tuesday evening and ran around pretending to be paparazzi, local media reported.

They held tripods and selfie sticks and pretended to chase a celebrity but people mistook the objects for weapons.

Video uploaded to social media showed people screaming and running from the resort:

Photos uploaded on social media show people apparently injured and plates and furniture at a restaurant thrown to the floor in the panic:

Eleven people were treated for minor injuries, anxiety attacks and heart palpitations, with at least two hospitalised police said.

Five German women, aged between 20 and 25, accused of involvement in the stunt, were charged with public order offences and were due to appear in court on Wednesday.

Tensions are high after a series of attacks claimed by the Islamic State in France and Germany in recent weeks.