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Catalan independence referendum: Around 91 people, 11 police officers hurt in crackdown at polling stations

Catalonia's emergency services said Sunday they had treated 91 people and 11 police officers were injured in a police crackdown at polling stations for an independence referendum banned by Madrid.

Thirty-five people were lightly injured, while three others were "more seriously" hurt, they said on Twitter, adding that nine had to be taken to health centres. "The injuries were mostly bruises, dizziness and anxiety attacks," they added.

Spanish riot police removes fences thrown by people to them as they try to prevent people from reaching a voting site at a school assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona on Sunday. AP

Spanish riot police removes fences thrown by people to them as they try to prevent people from reaching a voting site at a school assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona on Sunday. AP

Police fired rubber bullets in Barcelona as they charged protesters who wanted to vote in the independence vote which was banned by Spain's central government and the courts, witnesses told AFP.

Jon Marauri, who is from the Basque Country, showed an AFP reporter one of the rubber bullets he picked up after police charged hundreds of protesters who were preventing the officers from leaving a polling station.

"I am not the only one who has this, lots of other people picked them up," the 22-year-old engineering student said as he held the rubber bullet.

Another demonstrator, David Pujol, 37, showed an injury to his leg that he said was caused by a rubber bullet.

Several other demonstrators reported hearing rubber bullets being fired.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont lashed out Sunday at the violence used by Spain's national police in dispersing people in Barcelona who wanted to vote.

"The unjustified use of violence, which is both irrational and irresponsible, by the Spanish state will not stop the will of the Catalan people," he told reporters, accusing police of using  "batons, rubber bullets and indiscriminate force" against people demonstrating "peacefully".


Updated Date: Oct 01, 2017 18:40 PM

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