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US saddened by violence in Spain referendum bid

[WASHINGTON] The United States on Tuesday said it was saddened by violence in Spain amid Catalonia's referendum on independence vote bid which was deemed illegal.

"We were saddened by reports... of the many people who were injured during the events over the weekend" in the wealthy northeastern region home to Barcelona with its own culture and Latin language.

"We continue to say... we encourage all parties to resolve their political differences nonviolently and in a way that is consistent with Spanish law," she said.

Police unions and political experts warned that Spain's government risks losing control of the northeastern region.

Security forces on Tuesday clashed with pro-independence demonstrators, yielding images critics call repression - regardless of whether the Catalonians' referendum actions may be illegal under Spain's constitution.

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It is considered Spain's worst political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981, which was defused by Felipe's father, King Juan Carlos I.

Crowds in Barcelona on Tuesday yelled for national security forces to get out of the region, branding them "occupation forces" and raising their middle fingers at a police helicopter circling overhead.


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