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Police, anarchists clash in Barcelona

Protesters set fires and smash store windows after arrest of 11 suspected terrorists

Protesters set a container on fire in Barcelona's Gràcia neighborhood.
Protesters set a container on fire in Barcelona's Gràcia neighborhood.

Police and demonstrators clashed in Barcelona on Tuesday night during a protest over the arrest of 11 individuals suspected of “anarchist terrorism.”

Protesters shattered the windows of banks and a real estate agency, set containers on fire and hurled objects at the riot police when the latter prevented them from reaching the central government’s delegation offices, in the neighborhood of Gràcia.

Catalan police arrested 11 people suspected of planting homemade bombs in banks and churches

The rally began at 7pm under the sloganFreedom for the arrested anarchists,” attracting more than 1,000 sympathizers.

Hours earlier, the Catalan police had arrested 11 people suspected of planting homemade bombs in banks and churches in 2012 and 2013. The raid was ordered by Spain’s central criminal tribunal, the High Court.

The detainees are seven women and four men aged between 31 and 36 and hailing from Spain, Uruguay, Italy and Austria.

More than 450 officers participated in the raid, which included 13 house searches. The bulk of the search, however, focused on a squatter building known as Kasa de la Muntanya, also located in the Gràcia neighborhood.

The suspects, who are part of a group known as Insurrectional Commando Mateo Morral, are thought to be involved in terrorist activities that include leaving an explosive device at Madrid’s Almudena cathedral on February 7, 2013, and a similar incident at the basilica of El Pilar in Zaragoza on October 3 of that year. Both homemade bombs were defused by the police before going off.