Catalan separatists cleared from Spain-France motorway

Le Perthus (France) (AFP) –


French and Catalan police on Tuesday dispersed a group of Catalan separatists who had been blocking a motorway linking Spain and France at the border, French authorities said.

"There are no more demonstrators on the highway," a spokeswoman for the security department of the eastern French Pyrenees said, adding that no-one had been hurt and the motorway was expected to reopen on Tuesday afternoon.

Sixteen Spanish nationals were arrested.

On Monday, hundreds of separatists shut down the busy motorway between France and Spain in protest over the sentencing last month of nine of their leaders to lengthy jail terms.

The protest came a day after Spain's general election, in which the far-right Vox party made gains on the strength of its hardline stance against Catalan separatism.