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Police reinforcements withdrew from Catalonia

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – LLUIS GENE – | A ship that housed police reinforcements deployed for the Catalan referendum moves away from the port of Barcelona on November 16, 2017

The police reinforcements sent by the Spanish government to Catalonia before the referendum on self-determination on October 1, banned by the courts, began to be withdrawn on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry told AFP.

The agents of the National Police and the Civil Guard deployed at the end of September in this region of northeastern Spain, “will be phased out until next Saturday,” said a ministry spokesman.

The source did not specify how many troops it is. The newspaper El País had estimated these reinforcements at about 10,000 men.

Despite having been declared unconstitutional, the referendum on October 1 was carried out by the Catalan independence government, and was marked by the violence of the police that tried to seize ballot boxes in the polling stations.

The images went around the world and led the separatists to denounce the “repression” of the central government.

At least 92 people were injured, before which the delegate of the government in the region, Enric Millo, apologized a week later.

Catalonia has its own police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, while the National Police and the Civil Guard play a smaller role in the region.

Catalonia has been under the tutelage of the central government since October 27, when the regional parliament approved a unilateral declaration of independence.

Drawing on a never-used article (155) of the Constitution, the central government dismissed the regional executive, dissolved the parliament with an independence majority and called for early elections on December 21.

The independentistas returned to obtain absolute majority in the consultation and now they must try to form a new government.

The government of Mariano Rajoy assures that the control of the region will be lifted once the new executive is invested by the parliament.

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