The Latest: Police, separatists clash in Barcelona

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Catalan pro-independence protesters gather during a demonstration in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. Protests turned violent last week after Spain’s Supreme Court convicted 12 separatist leaders of illegally promoting the wealthy Catalonia region’s independence and sentenced nine of them to prison. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on clashes in Barcelona between police and separatists (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

Police are clashing with a large group of Catalan separatists in downtown Barcelona in a flareup of violence in the restive Spanish region.

Several hundred mostly masked protesters have surrounded the national police headquarters in the Catalan city and are throwing bottles and rocks at officers in riot gear. The police are responding by swinging batons.

The clash comes after 350,000 people protested peacefully Saturday against the imprisonment of nine Catalan separatist leaders for their roles in an illegal 2017 secession bid.

Last week Barcelona and other nearby towns were rocked by six days of violent riots that hurt over 500 people, including police, and led to over 150 arrests.

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8:30 p.m.

Hundreds of thousands in Spain’s restive region of Catalonia protested Saturday in Barcelona against the imprisonment of nine separatist leaders for their roles in an illegal 2017 secession bid.

Barcelona’s police say 350,000 people rallied in downtown Barcelona, many waving pro-independence flags for Catalonia. The rally was organized by the main pro-secession grassroots groups who want to create a new state in wealthy northeastern Spain.

Nine Catalan officials were given sentences of nine to 13 years for sedition by the Supreme Court. Four of those were also convicted of misuse of public funds. The other three were fined for disobedience. They were all acquitted of the more serious crime of rebellion, which carries sentences of up to 25 years.

The Oct. 14 sentence sparked peaceful protests in Barcelona and other nearby cities that later spiraled into violent clashes with police during six straight days.

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