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Hundreds Injured as Spanish Police Try to Block Catalan Referendum
Armed police descended on polling stations in Catalonia as voters attempted to take part in a banned referendum on independence from Madrid.
A man waves an 'Estelada' (Pro-independence Catalan flag) from a balcony after the closing of the 'Espai Jove La Fontana' (La Fontana youth center) polling station, on Oct. 1, 2017 in Barcelona.
Spanish riot police stormed voting stations today as they moved to stop Catalonia's independence referendum, supported by Catalan regional authorities, after it was banned by the central government in Madrid. More than 760 people were confirmed injured as thousands tried to prevent the polling stations from being closed. Spanish officials had previously said force would not be used, but that voting would not be allowed.
People celebrate after the closing of polling stations outside of the 'Espai Jove La Fontana' (La Fontana youth center). More than 5.3 million Catalans were expected to vote.
An election official carries an empty ballot box out of a polling station in Barcelona.
After voting ended Spanish Prime Minster Mariano Rajoy said that there had been no referendum because “the great majority of Catalans have decided not to participate.”
"They have sided with our democracy and the rule of law," Rajoy said in a news conference, adding: “Some have tried to break the rule of law, and we have answered with serenity and sanity.”
Anti-independence demonstrators march through downtown Barcelona waving Spanish flags against the referendum.
A man reacts after voting.
Women hold ballots at a polling station in Barcelona.
Plain clothes police officers try to snatch a ballot box from polling station officials at the Ramon Llull university assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona.
A Catalan man reacts after voting in the '1-O Referendum' at the Escola Jaume I school, in Barcelona.
Civil Guard officers break through a door at a polling station where Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was supposed to vote in Sant Julia de Ramis.
Police officers immobilize two people outside a polling station in Barcelona.
Spanish police seize ballot boxes in a polling station in Barcelona.
A protester is attended to after being hit by a rubber bullet shot by Spanish National Police near the Ramon Llull university.
People hold up four fingers representing the four stripes of the Catalan flag while they wait to cast their referendum votes outside the Escola Industrial of Barcelona.
Civil Guard officers stand inside a polling station for the banned independence referendum where Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was supposed to vote in Sant Julia de Ramis.
People wait outside a polling center in the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona.
A protester shouts as he holds a Catalan flag during a far-right demonstration.
Catalans and police clash outside Ramon Llull university.
A hand is seen through a giant Estelada in the University of Barcelona's historic building.
Police try to remove pro-referendum supporters sitting down on a street in Barcelona.
Spanish Guardia Civil guards drag a man outside a polling station in Sant Julia de Ramis.
Officers clash with people outside a polling center at Tarragona Secondary School in Tarragona, Catalonia.
An elderly woman is applauded as she celebrates after voting in the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona.
Women and Spanish Guardia Civil guards clash outside a polling station in Sarria de Ter.
Spanish police use shields to push people away outside of a Barcelona polling station.
Protesters perform a fascist salute during a demonstration called by far-right groups against the referendum.
A police officer pushes a woman away outside the Ramon Llull university.
Spanish National Police prevent people from entering a voting site.
Catalans queue to vote at the Moises Broggi secondary school in Barcelona.