Catalan emergency officials say 761 people have been injured as police used force to try to block voting in Catalonia’s independence referendum.
The Spanish government had pledged to stop a poll that was declared illegal by the country’s constitutional court.
Police officers prevented some people from voting, and seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations.
In the regional capital Barcelona, police used batons and fired rubber bullets during pro-referendum protests.
Speaking soon after the polls closed at 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Catalans had been fooled into taking part in an illegal vote.
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The Spanish interior ministry said 12 police officers had been hurt and three people arrested. It added that 92 polling stations had been closed.
The national police and Guardia Civil – a paramilitary force charged with police duties – were sent into Catalonia in large numbers to prevent the vote from taking place.
While Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau condemned police actions against what she called the region’s “defenceless” population, Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said police had “acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way”.
One voter, Júlia Graell, told the BBC that “police started to kick people, young and old”, adding: “Today, I have seen the worst actions that a government can do to the people of its own country.”
Link: Photos: Spanish Police Beat Living Daylight Out Of Catalonians Who Are Saying They Want To Break Out And Form Their Own Country