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Barcelona Rocked by Violence as Catalan Protesters Clash with Police

EPA / UPG

Hundreds of protesters faced off against police in the heart of Barcelona on Friday, assembling fiery barricades and throwing rocks at security forces on the fifth day of unrest following the sentencing of nine Catalan separatist leaders, Deusche Welle reports.

The general strike that brought the Catalan capital to a standstill drew over half a million people, according to police estimates, and was largely peaceful for most of the day.

As night fell, several hundred people wearing black masks blocked a broad boulevard near the city's police headquarters, set garbage bins on fire, and threw stones, eggs and other objects at police forces in full riot gear.

In response, police fired tear gas, smoke grenades and foam bullets at the protesters and deployed water trucks to pass through the burning barricades.

Spanish daily El Pais reported that 17 people were arrested on Friday. Health authorities reported 62 people, 41 of them in Barcelona, were injured in protests across Catalonia. Spain's Ministry of the Interior said that more than 200 agents of security forces were injured in the region.

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