MADRID – In a major operation ahead of Catalonia’s looming independence referendum, Spanish police on Wednesday began searching several Catalan government buildings in Barcelona.
A senior Catalan politician — Joseph Maria Jove, number two to Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras — was also detained, according to Spanish daily El Mundo.
Catalan daily La Vanguardia reported that a further two high-profile politicians were also arrested.
However, Spanish police and the country’s interior ministry would not confirm the arrests to Anadolu Agency.
The premises of Catalan economy and finance ministry, the foreign affairs ministry and the presidency were all searched.
Wednesday’s operation comes less than two weeks ahead of Catalonia’s planned referendum which the Spanish government considers illegal.
“The moment has come. We will resist pacifically. Nonviolently, we will defend our institutions,” tweeted Jordi Sanchez, president of the Catalan National Assembly, a pro-independence group. He also called for activists to take to the streets.
The searches are a continuation of Tuesday’s operation, in which police seized a significant amount of documents (envelopes and instructional pamphlets) related to the referendum at Unipost, Catalonia’s biggest private mail-delivery company.
While police searched Unipost on Tuesday, scuffles broke out between officers and some of the approximately 200 people who gathered at the building to protest the search.
By Alyssa McMurtry
Movie ‘SWEAT’ shows what can go wrong when you’re insta-famous
Shenzhen airport tightens COVID-19 measures as China records rise in new cases
Apple Daily editor, CEO denied bail in Hong Kong
Singapore sees early rush in demand for Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine
Four people killed, four injured after aircraft crashes in Siberia
Weird7 days ago
Cape Cod diver left with a whale of a tale after a humpback spat him out
Middle East7 days ago
Saudi Arabia bars foreign travellers from Hajj over COVID19
Other6 days ago
Athletes told to take courtesy condoms home amid physical distancing rules in Olympic Village
Football7 days ago
Christian Eriksen: Denmark midfielder ‘awake’ after collapsing on pitch
Lifestyle5 days ago
Saudi ministry: Women can register for Hajj with other women without male guardian
Science6 days ago
SLS: First view of Nasa’s assembled ‘megarocket’
Computers4 days ago
Critical US entities targeted in suspected Chinese cyber spying
Health4 days ago
AstraZeneca’s antibody treatment fails to protect patients exposed to COVID-19