Spain steps up Barcelona security ahead of expected Catalan independence declaration

Police posted guards at public buildings in Barcelona and closed a park surrounding the regional Catalan Parliament, where many expect Catalan President Carles Puigdemont to make a declaration of independence Tuesday night. Separatist politicians have declared that an Oct. 1 referendum deemed illegal by the Spanish government amounted to a legitimate mandate for Catalonia to secede from Spain. National authorities sent police to close polling stations and seize ballot boxes in an attempt to block the referendum, and they are expected to respond firmly against any move toward independence.

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