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As it happened: Catalonia votes in independence referendum marred by violence

Lluis Gene, AFP | A woman empties a ballot box at a polling station in Barcelona on October 1, 2017 to count the votes of a referendum on independence for Catalonia banned by Madrid.

Spanish police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into polling stations in Catalonia on Sunday as thousands turned out to vote in an independence referendum deemed illegal by Madrid. See how events unfolded on FRANCE 24's live blog.

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  • At least 92 were confirmed injured out of a total of 844 who needed medical attention, Catalan authorities said, in clashes on Sunday as police officers tried to block voting in a banned independence referendum.
  • The interior ministry said 33 police also required treatment as a result of the clashes.
  • More than 5.3 million people had been called upon to have their say on independence from Spain in the wealthy northeastern region, which has its own distinct language and culture.
  • After the vote, Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont said the region had "won the right to become an independent state" after "millions" turned out to cast their ballots.
  • However, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the plebiscite had made "a mockery of the very essence of democracy" and claimed that the vote had largely been blocked by police, saying "today there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia".
  • Spanish riot police smashed their way into polling stations and fired rubber bullets at voters outside a station in Barcelona.
  • Police closed 319 polling stations out of some 2,300, according to Catalan authorities.
  • Barcelona's mayor has called for Prime Minister Rajoy to step down in the wake of the violent police response.
  • Pro-independence groups and trade unions have called for a general strike on October 3 in Catalonia.

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