AP PHOTOS: A chaotic 24 hours in Spain's Catalonia region | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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AP PHOTOS: A chaotic 24 hours in Spain's Catalonia region

FILE, In this Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 photo Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Las Palmas is played at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)
October 02, 2017 - 10:29 AM

BARCELONA, Spain - They arrived with their sleeping bags late Saturday, regular Catalonians ready to defy judicial orders and occupy polling stations in and around Barcelona to ensure a referendum on Catalan independence would go ahead.

By Sunday night, nearly 2.3 million of the region's 5.3 million voters had cast ballots. The hours in between were marked by striking scenes of police firing rubber bullets, smashing into polling stations and beating back protesters with batons.

Spanish officials, who said the referendum was illegal, defended their use of force, saying police acted professionally and their response was proportionate.

Hundreds of people were injured.

Catalonia, one of Spain's 17 autonomous regions, has some 7.5 million people and includes Barcelona. The region has its own language and generates a fifth of Spain's 1.1 trillion euro economy. Catalan officials say parliament will declare independence in the next several days. What happens then is unclear.

Here, AP photographers chronicle a chaotic 24 hours in Catalonia.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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