Hundreds injured as Spanish riot police try to stop referendum voters in Catalonia

The deputy prime minister praised the actions of the Spanish police who used batons and rubber bullets to control crowds of voters

Natasha Salmon
Sunday 01 October 2017 15:11
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Catalonians get thrown to the ground by riot police in scuffles over referendum

More than 400 people have been injured in clashes between riot police and voters during the Catalonia independence referendum, Catalan officials have said.

Spanish police used batons and rubber bullets to remove people from polling stations across the region as thousands turned out to vote on independence.

Clashes were seen in Barcelona, the region's capital, and other districts while police seized ballot boxes and smashed their way in to polling centres.

Around 38 people were originally reported as being injured but this has now risen to 'around 460' hurt in the violence.

Spain's Interior Ministry said 11 police officers were injured while 'fulfilling judicial orders' to prevent the referendum from taking place.

The ministry tweeted that the injured included nine National Police officers and two Civil Guard agents.

The regional leader of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, has accused Spanish authorities of using “unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible” violence in its crackdown on the region's independence referendum.

However Spanish deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, praised the actions of Spanish police in preventing the independence referendum from going ahead

She slammed the “absolute irresponsibility” of the Catalan regional government in holding the vote had been compensated for by the professionalism of the Spanish security forces, she told reporters.

“They have complied with the orders of justice. They have acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way. They have always sought to protect rights and liberties,” she said.

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