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33 people injured as Police tries to stop vote vote in Catalonia referendum

Riot police have fired rubber bullets on people trying to reach polling stations, while voters have been pictured covered in blood and the Barcelona vs Las Palmas match has been suspended.

Catalonia’s government spokesman said 337 people have been injured, some seriously, in the police crackdown.

The region, which includes the cities of Barcelona and Girona, has its own language and many who live there want it to become its own republic and break away from Spain. But Madrid is cracking down, refusing to recognize the validity of the referendum and ordering police to close polling stations and seize ballot boxes.

Police had been ordered not to use force, but things rapidly disintegrated at several polling stations. Most of those people treated by emergency services sustained slight injuries and three suffered more serious injuries, the Catalan services said on Twitter.

Daniel Riano, 54, who tried to vote at a school in Barcelona, said: ‘We were waiting inside to vote when the National Police used force to enter, they used a mace to break in the glass door and they took everything.

‘One policeman put me in a headlock to drag me out, while I was holding my wife’s hand. It was incredible. They didn’t give any warning’.

A man falls to the ground during scuffles with Spanish Civil Guard officers outside a polling station for the banned independence referendum in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain, October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea

A man shows a bruise on his back allegedly caused by Spanish riot police after clashes near a school assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Spanish riot police have forcefully removed a few hundred would-be voters from several polling stations in Barcelona.(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

ATTENTION EDITORS – VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A woman sits injured on a staircase as another person covers her head partially with a cloth, in Barcelona, Spain October 1, 2017. Xavier Lesan via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Spanish Civil Guard officers remove demonstrators outside a polling station for the banned independence referendum in Barcelona, Spain, October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera

A man is dragged away, after scuffles broke out with Spanish Civil Guard officers, outside a polling station for the banned independence referendum in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea

epa06237425 Spanish National Police officers evict a woman during clashes outside a polling center after police forces seized ballot boxes during the ‘1-O Referendum’ in Cappont, Lleida, Catalonia, northeastern Spain, on 01 October 2017. National Police officers and Civil guards have been deployed to seize voting material and to prevent the people from entering to the polling centers and vote in the Catalan independence referendum, that has been banned by the Spanish Constitutional Court, what has provocked clashes between pro-independence people and the police forces in some polling centers. EPA/Adria Ropero

Spanish riot police swings a club against would-be voters near a school assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Spanish riot police have forcefully removed a few hundred would-be voters from several polling stations in Barcelona. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spanish riot police shoots rubber bullet straight to people trying to reach a voting site at a school assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 1 Oct. 2017. Spanish riot police have forcefully removed a few hundred would-be voters from several polling stations in Barcelona. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Spanish Civil Guard officer pushes a man outside a polling station for the banned independence referendum in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain, October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont accused Spanish authorities of using ‘unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible’ violence in a crackdown on a Catalan independence referendum on Sunday.

The batons, rubber bullets, and violence used by Spanish police had shown a ‘dreadful external image of Spain’, he told reporters.
‘The unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible violence of the Spanish state today has not only failed to stop Catalans’ desire to vote … but has helped to clarify all the doubts we had to resolve today,’ he said.

33 people injured as Police tries to stop vote vote in Catalonia referendum
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