Via Daily Mail:

Hundreds of people have been injured as riot police shut down polling stations on the day of the controversial independence referendum in Catalonia.

Officers were seen stamping and kicking protesters as they stormed buildings and seized ballot boxes.

Footage captured in the village of Sarria de Ter in the province of Girona showed authorities using an axe to smash down the doors of a polling station where Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was due to cast his vote.

And in Barcelona, the region’s capital, officers fired rubber bullets at thousands of protesters demonstrating against their votes being denied.

At least 460 people have been hurt in the clashes across Catalonia, the city’s mayor said, while Spain’s interior ministry said at least 11 police officers had been injured.

And tens of thousands of fans have been banned from attending FC Barcelona’s football match with Las Palmas as part of a protest against the violence.

Spain’s Constitutional Court has suspended the referendum and the central government says it is illegal.

But regional separatist leaders pledged to hold it anyway and called on the area’s 5.3million eligible voters to show up to cast their ballots.

Today Mr Puidgemont condemned the Spanish government’s crackdown. He said: ‘Police brutality will shame forever the Spanish state.’

But the Spanish deputy prime minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said officers in Catalonia are acting ‘in a proportionate manner’.

She added that the Catalan government ‘has behaved with absolute irresponsibility’ by going ahead with the referendum.

Shocking footage from Barcelona shows police officers throwing voters down a flight of stairs and stamping on people as they raid a polling station.

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