Acting Spanish PM Sanchez visits injured policemen in Barcelona

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-21 23:21:08|Editor: yan
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BARCELONA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Acting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez traveled to Barcelona in northeast Spain on Monday to visit policemen injured during the seven days of disturbances caused by the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders a week ago.

According to the latest figures issued by the Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs, a total of 289 police officers have been injured in clashes with organized and violent radical groups in Barcelona.

After meeting police chiefs at the headquarters of the Spanish National Police force here, Sanchez visited two hospitals to express his thanks and support to some of the injured officers.

The acting prime minister was met by pro-separatist protesters when he left both hospitals. In a peaceful manner, they demanded the release of the separatist leaders.

During his stay in Barcelona, Sanchez will not be meeting with Catalan leader Quim Torra. He rejected this meeting unless Torra condemns the violence in clear terms.

In a tweet on Monday morning, Sanchez said that "I am visiting Barcelona today to see how the agents injured in the disturbances are recovering."

"I have reminded Mr Torra in a letter of the obligations that every person with public responsibility: to firmly condemn the violence, support security forces who are combating it and avoid civil disorder," he added.

In the letter, Sanchez accused Torra of letting security forces down, saying he has "turned his back" on them.

"Your conduct in the past few days has gone in precisely the opposite direction," Sanchez said.

Torra responded that he had always been opposed to violence, that the vast majority of the separatist movement was peaceful, and that the situation will only be solved by dialogue.

Alongside the injured police officers, over 260 police vehicles have been damaged and 194 violent demonstrators have been arrested.