Disputed Catalan independence vote turns violent as police fire rubber bullets

Spanish police have resorted to firing rubber bullets at Catalans who are participating in the independence vote, which was deemed illegal by the Spanish government. An Israeli MK in Catalonia reported that the rubber bullets were fired without warning.

Watch: MK Ksenia Svetlova speaks with Sky News

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MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union) joined the thousands of Catalans who headed to the improvised polling booths Sunday morning and faced the Spanish security forces. Svetlova, who is in Catalonia as an independent observer, reported that she saw police officers shoot rubber bullets at voters. According to reports, 38 people were injured.

“I was here at the town square when I heard the shots,” she told Channel 2 News Online. “People were protesting in order to express democracy and the police just started shooting rubber bullets at them. The shooting occurred without warning and it happened at more than one location.”

Injured man Photo Credit: Sky News/Channel 2 News

The MK said that she was surprised by the violence. “I did not expect it,” she told Sky News in an interview from the scene. “When you come from a place like Israel, and you know, you coming [sic] to Europe and expect a normal democratic process even with disagreements.”

Catalan man with a child surrounded by police Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

As the polls opened across Catalonia this morning, clashes erupted between voters and police in several locations when the latter started to confiscate voting slips and ballot boxes. In Barcelona, the capital of the region, police officers have sealed off several improvised polling booths in which dozens of Catalans have barricaded themselves.



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