The worst clashes were outside Barcelona's El Prat airport, where hundreds of demonstrators battled with police. — AFP Photo
BARCELONA — Catalan separatists on Tuesday blocked streets and train tracks in protest against Spain's jailing of nine of their leaders, as the Spanish government hit out at what it called "generalised violence" a day after activists stormed Barcelona airport.
Groups of demonstrators staged sit-ins outside Spanish government offices in a number of Catalan cities late Tuesday, with around 40,000 people taking part in Barcelona and 9,000 in the separatist stronghold of Girona, according to municipal and regional police.
"It is evident that what we're facing is not a peaceful movement but one orchestrated by groups using street violence to destroy co-existence in Catalonia," the government said in a statement.
"This evening's violence (in cities such as Barcelona, Tarragona, Girona and Lerida) was generalised," the statement said.
Several roads were cut across the northeastern region, including the AP-7 which links Barcelona to France, local officials said.
In Barcelona, police charged hundreds of masked demonstrators who threw projectiles at officers and lit fires. Three people were arrested, police said. — AFP