Spain pulls police reinforcements back from Catalonia

2017-12-27 16:03
Demonstrators shout slogans as they protest the Catalan government's push for secession.  (Emilio Morenatti, AP, file)

Demonstrators shout slogans as they protest the Catalan government's push for secession. (Emilio Morenatti, AP, file)

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Madrid - Spain's Interior Ministry says it is withdrawing thousands of police reinforcements who were deployed to its north-eastern region of Catalonia in the run-up to an attempted referendum on the region's independence in October.

Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said late on Tuesday the estimated 5 000 reinforcements are no longer necessary following the return to normalcy after Spain seized control of the restive region following a declaration of independence by the Catalan parliament weeks after the referendum.

Spain was criticised over police using force to try to prevent the referendum from taking place. Hundreds of people, including police, were reported injured.

Spain later dismissed the Catalan government, dissolved the regional parliament and ordered fresh elections for December 21 to quell the secession push and restore legality.

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