Riot police clamp down on Catalan independence referendum

Several hundred people, including a small number of police officers, have been hurt in scuffles between riot police and demonstrators backing Catalonia’s independence referendum.

The clashes began as law enforcement agencies tried to confiscate ballot boxes and voting slips.

Madrid blamed regional authorities for creating the situation that led to the violence by pushing ahead with a vote the national government says is illegal.

Catalan political figures have condemned the Spanish government for excessive and unnecessary use of force.

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