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Spain's police fires rubber bullets trying to stop independence referendum

Staff Writer |
Catalonia's independence referendum has begun in chaotic fashion, with police attempting to prevent the vote from taking place.

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The Spanish government has pledged to stop a poll that was declared illegal by the country's constitutional court.

Police officers are blocking potential voters from entering polling stations, and are also seizing ballot papers and boxes.

The ballot papers contain just one question: "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?" There are two boxes: Yes or No.

Ahead of the polls opening, the Catalan government said voters could use any polling station if their designated voting place was shut.

panish riot police smashed their way into the polling station where Catalonia's regional leader was due to vote in the disputed independence referendum on Sunday. Scuffles erupted outside between police and people waiting to vote.

Civil Guard officers, wearing helmets and carrying shields, used a hammer to break the glass of the front door and a lock cutter to break into the Sant Julia de Ramis sports center near the city of Girona.

At least one woman was injured outside the building and wheeled away on a stretcher by paramedics.

Riot police appear to be firing rounds of rubber bullets to disperse crowds. This from Daisy Bata, our reported on the ground in Barcelona, The Local Spain reported.

Voting has been halted at some Catalonia polling stations due to an internet outage. Meanwhile, electoral volunteers said they were unable to access census data because internet services to polling stations had been cut.

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