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Police clash with Catalan protesters burning barricade outside Camp Nou stadium

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Barcelona (AFP)

Masked protesters set bins on fire and threw rocks and glass bottles at police who responded with foam bullets in a street near Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium as Barcelona and Real Madrid faced off Wednesday in the first Clasico of the season.

Twelve people were injured in the clashes, including four who needed to be taken to a medical centre for extra care, local emergency services said.

The protesters, many of them carrying Catalan separatist flags, began setting up barricades in the middle of the street, which they then set on fire, after police arrived in dozens of police vans, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Demonstrators rocked a police van and took down street signs that they added to the barricades.

Inside the stadium thousands of fans held up blue banners with the words 'Spain, sit and talk' which were given to supporters outside the grounds and also carried the words, 'Freedom, rights, self-determination', as well as the slogan of Democratic Tsunami, the protest group promoting the cause of Catalan independence.

Protestors also blocked traffic after gathering at the four corners of the stadium from 1500 GMT, four hours before kick-off. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.

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