IN PICTURES: Police clash with pro-independence protesters during pro-Spanish unity rallies in Cataluña

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PROTESTS: Police clashed with demonstrators in Cataluña CREDIT: Help Catalonia, via Twitter

POLICE were despatched to the streets of towns in Cataluña yesterday (Thursday) after clashes broke out between regional independence supporters and marchers rallying for Spanish unity on Constitution Day.

Mossos d’Esquadra officers wearing riot gear and wielding truncheons charged against demonstrators who were attempting to block a pro-Spanish unity and Constitution rally.

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Similar scenes played out in Terrassa where a local politician from the leftist pro-Catalan independence Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) was left wounded.

Members of the Catalan divisions of national political parties including the conservative Partido Popular, the centrist Ciudadanos and the far right Vox marched through Barcelona in a pro-Spanish union demonstration. Some 2,000 people took part, according to Guardia Urbana estimates.

Photos and videos posted online showed pro-independence protesters gathering in Girona and Terrassa where they were met by police. Several hundred people took part, according to reports.

One person was arrested in Girona and around 20 were injured, including 15 police officers while Maria Sirvent, a CUP politician, was wounded and two people were detained in Terrassa.

Pro-independence protesters were staging counter demonstrations against those organised by the anti-secession Borbonia group, which had the backing of the PP and Vox.

Both the CUP and the leftist Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña (ERC) have called on Catalan Generalitat Interior spokesperson Miquel Buch to investigate the clashes.

Andreu Martinez, head of the Mossos d’ Esquadra, said the police response was “correct and adequate” to defend against an “attack” on pro-unity demonstrations.

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