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Brute force: Spain sending more police to block referendum in Catalonia

Staff Writer |
Spain’s interior ministry said it was sending more state police to Catalonia to make sure a banned referendum on independence does not take place.

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Catalonia, which wants to hold a vote on October 1 to split from Spain, has its own police called Mossos d‘Esquadra, though the state police Guardia Civil has quarters throughout the region and often works alongside them.

The interior ministry has not disclosed how many more police officers it is sending to the region but Spanish media said between 3,000 and 4,000 had already arrived or were on their way.

They would join the roughly 5,000 state police normally stationed in Catalonia and around 17,000 Mossos officers.

“They will be tasked with surveillance of public space and maintaining order and they will act in case the illegal referendum is maintained,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

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