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Huge clean-up operation begins in Spanish port city 

Barcelona was bracing for fresh violence on Saturday after nearly 200 people were hurt in a night of clashes when radical separatists hurled rocks and fireworks at police who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Piles of burned garbage and destroyed bicycles littered the Spanish streets after fires were ignited during Friday night’s riots, which came amid growing anger over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders on Monday.

A radical movement of young separatists, Arran, on Saturday called for a new demonstration ‘against repression’ at 4pm in central Barcelona. 

On Saturday, authorities confirmed 152 people were injured in Barcelona, with dozens more hurt in the rest of Catalonia, taking the total to 182.

Early on Saturday, the air in the Catalan capital was still heavy with a burning stench as municipal workers cleared the streets of broken glass, rocks and rubber bullets, and repaired pavements where bricks had been ripped out.

A Spanish national police officer uses his club to hit a protester during a demonstration called by the Catalan pro-independence left youth group ‘Arran’ on Saturday

Piles of burned garbage and destroyed bicycles littered the Spanish streets after fires were ignited during Friday night's riots, which came amid growing anger over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders on Monday

Piles of burned garbage and destroyed bicycles littered the Spanish streets after fires were ignited during Friday night’s riots, which came amid growing anger over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders on Monday

Destroyed bicycles littered the streets of Barcelona on Saturday after fires were ignited during the previous night's riots, which came amid growing anger over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders on Monday

Destroyed bicycles littered the streets of Barcelona on Saturday after fires were ignited during the previous night’s riots, which came amid growing anger over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders on Monday

Spanish national police clash with protesters today. It comes a day after nearly 200 people were hurt in another night of violent clashes in Catalonia

Spanish national police clash with protesters today. It comes a day after nearly 200 people were hurt in another night of violent clashes in Catalonia

'This can't go on, Barcelona does not deserve this,' said Ada Colau, the city's leftist mayor on Saturday, condemning 'all kinds of violence'

‘This can’t go on, Barcelona does not deserve this,’ said Ada Colau, the city’s leftist mayor on Saturday, condemning ‘all kinds of violence’

Emergency services had already reported 500 injured since Monday even before the latest clashes erupted on Saturday

Emergency services had already reported 500 injured since Monday even before the latest clashes erupted on Saturday

‘This can’t go on, Barcelona does not deserve this,’ said Ada Colau, the city’s leftist mayor on Saturday, condemning ‘all kinds of violence’.

Emergency services had already reported 500 injured since Monday even before the latest clashes erupted.

Police said they arrested 54 people on the fifth day of clashes which were sparked by Spain’s Supreme Court handing down lengthy prison terms to nine Catalan leaders who staged a banned referendum on independence in 2017.

Around half a million people had rallied in the city on Friday, police said, in its worst night of urban unrest in decades.

Catalonia’s pro-independence regional chief Quim Torra called for talks on Saturday with Spain’s central government following the five days of unrest.

Commuters drive past burnt garbage in the aftermath of clashes between police and protesters, in Barcelona, Spain

Commuters drive past burnt garbage in the aftermath of clashes between police and protesters, in Barcelona, Spain

Early on Saturday, the air in the Catalan capital was still heavy with a burning stench as municipal workers cleared the streets of broken glass, rocks and rubber bullets

Early on Saturday, the air in the Catalan capital was still heavy with a burning stench as municipal workers cleared the streets of broken glass, rocks and rubber bullets

On Saturday, authorities confirmed 152 people were injured in Barcelona, with dozens more hurt in the rest of Catalonia, taking the total to 182

On Saturday, authorities confirmed 152 people were injured in Barcelona, with dozens more hurt in the rest of Catalonia, taking the total to 182

‘We urge the acting prime minister of the Spanish government to sit at a negotiating table to talk,’ Torra said, adding that this week’s violence did not reflect the peaceful nature of the Catalan independence movement.

‘Violence has never been and will never be our way, not in Barcelona, nor in Tarragona, nor in Lleida, nor in Girona,’ he said, referring to cities in Catalonia that have been swept up in the recent mayhem.

While most marchers appeared peaceful, hordes of masked protesters went on the rampage near the police headquarters, igniting a huge blaze that sent plumes of black smoke into the air, as police fired teargas to disperse them, reports claimed. 

Other fires raged near Plaza de Catalunya at the top of the tourist hotspot Las Ramblas, where hundreds of demonstrators rallied in defiance of the police, who tried to disperse them with water cannon. 

‘Anti-fascist Catalonia!’ they roared. ‘The streets will always be ours!’

A radical movement of young separatists, Arran, on Saturday called for a new demonstration 'against repression' at 4pm in central Barcelona

A radical movement of young separatists, Arran, on Saturday called for a new demonstration ‘against repression’ at 4pm in central Barcelona

Members of the public view the damage on the streets of Barcelona following a night of rioting on Saturday morning

Members of the public view the damage on the streets of Barcelona following a night of rioting on Saturday morning

Emergency services had already reported 500 injured since Monday even before the latest violent clashes erupted

Emergency services had already reported 500 injured since Monday even before the latest violent clashes erupted

Scores of police vans could be seen fanning out around the streets, their sirens screaming as the regional police warned people in a message in English on Twitter ‘not to approach’ the city centre.

Earlier, thousands of ‘freedom marchers’, who had set out to walk from five regional towns on Wednesday, arrived in Barcelona wearing walking boots and carrying hiking poles.

The rally coincided with the general strike, prompting the cancellation of flights, the closure of shops, business and several top tourist attractions, and slowing public transport to a trickle in a region that accounts for about a fifth of Spain’s economic output.

Activists also cut off Catalonia’s main cross-border highway with France. 

Catalonia's pro-independence regional chief Quim Torra called for talks on Saturday with Spain's central government following the five days of unrest

Catalonia’s pro-independence regional chief Quim Torra called for talks on Saturday with Spain’s central government following the five days of unrest

Police said they arrested 54 people on the fifth day of clashes which were sparked by Spain's Supreme Court handing down lengthy prison terms to nine Catalan leaders who staged a banned referendum on independence in 2017

Police said they arrested 54 people on the fifth day of clashes which were sparked by Spain’s Supreme Court handing down lengthy prison terms to nine Catalan leaders who staged a banned referendum on independence in 2017

While most marchers appeared peaceful, hordes of masked protesters went on the rampage near the police headquarters, igniting a huge blaze that sent plumes of black smoke into the air

While most marchers appeared peaceful, hordes of masked protesters went on the rampage near the police headquarters, igniting a huge blaze that sent plumes of black smoke into the air

In downtown Barcelona, many shops and luxury outlets were closed on the city’s Paseo de Gracia, with blackened, charred patches a testimony to the nightly clashes that have raged since Monday.

‘With these demonstrations bringing this large city to a halt, we are using Barcelona like a microphone,’ said 23-year-old engineering student Ramon Pararada.

‘It’s all in reaction to the injustice,’ he said.

Retired lawyer Jaume Enrich said the court sentence was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.

A huge blaze rages in Barcelona as protesters dramatically clashed with police in the Catalan capital on Friday

A huge blaze rages in Barcelona as protesters dramatically clashed with police in the Catalan capital on Friday

Protester waves pro-independence flag, an unofficial flag used by Catalan independence supporters

Protester waves pro-independence flag, an unofficial flag used by Catalan independence supporters 

A protester stands next to a burning barricade during clashes near police headquarters in Barcelona on Friday, October 18

A protester stands next to a burning barricade during clashes near police headquarters in Barcelona on Friday, October 18 

‘Madrid is putting Spanish unity above everything, including basic rights,’ he said, wearing a badge saying ‘No surrender’.

Spain’s top tourist destination, the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, was closed as protesters massed outside.

 With the region mired in chaos, football authorities cancelled the Barcelona and Real Madrid Clasico set for October 26 at the Camp Nou stadium. Both clubs had reportedly refused an offer to hold the match in Madrid.

In downtown Barcelona, many shops and luxury outlets were closed on the city's Paseo de Gracia, with blackened, charred patches a testimony to the nightly clashes that have raged since Monday

In downtown Barcelona, many shops and luxury outlets were closed on the city’s Paseo de Gracia, with blackened, charred patches a testimony to the nightly clashes that have raged since Monday

Around half a million people had rallied in the city on Friday, police said, in its worst night of urban unrest in decades

Around half a million people had rallied in the city on Friday, police said, in its worst night of urban unrest in decades

Spain's top tourist destination, the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, was closed as protesters massed outside

Spain’s top tourist destination, the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, was closed as protesters massed outside

And Manchester City’s Catalan manager Pep Guardiola, an outspoken campaigner for the independence movement, urged European intervention to ease the crisis.

‘The international community must help us to solve the conflict between Catalonia and Spain,’ he said. ‘Some mediator from outside [must] help us sit [down] and talk.’

The Supreme Court’s explosive decision has thrust the Catalan dispute to the heart of the political debate as Spain heads towards a fourth election in as many years, which will be held on November 10.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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