Spanish police detain Catalan official in referendum row

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BARCELONA: Spain’s Guardia Civil police arrested a top Catalan government official on Wednesday as part of raids on several Catalan government offices, sparking protests in Barcelona. The operation comes amid mounting tensions as Catalan leaders press ahead with preparations for an independence referendum on October 1 despite Madrid’s ban and a court ruling deeming it illegal. Officers arrested Josep Maria Jove, an aide to Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras, in the operation, police and the Catalan government said. The reasons for his arrest were not immediately clear, but Spain’s central government had warned that officials who help stage the referendum could face criminal charges.

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AFP

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