Pro-independence protesters are accused of throwing ACID at police in Barcelona

Spanish police have accused protesters of throwing acid at them during another night of destructive violence in Barcelona, with unrest entering a fourth day.

Members of the public were warned to stay away from a major avenue in the city centre on Wednesday night after a new outbreak of trouble was sparked following Monday’s jailing of nine pro-independence leaders.

Protesters clashed with riot squad officers, throwing missiles including stones and flares, and setting fire to piles of cardboard boxes and rubbish bins.

The epicentre of the violence was the popular Paseo de San Juan near Barcelona’s Arc de Triomphe monument.

A spokesman for the regional Mossos d’Esquadra force, one of the two police forces combating the violence which has erupted this week in several Catalonian cities, said around 9.15 local time: ‘The violent incidents are continuing in the area of the Paseo de San Juan where it meets Diputacion Street.

‘Stones and objects with acid are being thrown. Please stay away from the area.’

The force later said a ‘small group of violent people’ were throwing stones and flares at police.

Spain’s government said on Wednesday it would do whatever it takes to stamp out violence in Catalonia, where clashes between regional independence supporters and police have injured more than 200 people in two days. 

A car is consumed by flames during riots last night against the Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

Members of the public were warned to stay away from a major avenue in the city centre on Wednesday night after a new outbreak of trouble sparked by Monday's jailing

Members of the public were warned to stay away from a major avenue in the city centre on Wednesday night after a new outbreak of trouble sparked by Monday’s jailing

Protesters clashed with riot squad officers, throwing missiles including stones and flares, repeating last Tuesday night's tactic of setting fire to piles of cardboard boxes and rubbish bins

Protesters clashed with riot squad officers, throwing missiles including stones and flares, repeating last Tuesday night’s tactic of setting fire to piles of cardboard boxes and rubbish bins

A spokesman for the regional Mossos d'Esquadra force, one of the two police forces combating the violence, even claimed that acid was thrown at officers by protesters

A spokesman for the regional Mossos d’Esquadra force, one of the two police forces combating the violence, even claimed that acid was thrown at officers by protesters

Catalan anti-riot police officers fight protesters. Clashes erupted in Barcelona late today after thousands rallied for a huge protest in the city centre as Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made a direct appeal to the Catalan president to condemn the violence

Catalan anti-riot police officers fight protesters. Clashes erupted in Barcelona late today after thousands rallied for a huge protest in the city centre as Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made a direct appeal to the Catalan president to condemn the violence

A protester argues with police officers on October 16 in Barcelona, Spain as the violent clashes continued in the region

A protester argues with police officers on October 16 in Barcelona, Spain as the violent clashes continued in the region

Anti-riot police officers stand guard in front of a barricade in flames during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees

Anti-riot police officers stand guard in front of a barricade in flames during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees

A car is consumed by flames during riots against the Spanish Supreme Court's ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

A car is consumed by flames during riots against the Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

Protesters throw objects against police during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees on Wednesday night

Protesters throw objects against police during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees on Wednesday night

Protesters celebrate after police retreated during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona tonight

Protesters celebrate after police retreated during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona tonight

Police union representatives said some protesters in Tarragona, a 90 minute drive south of Barcelona, were carrying knives they intended slashing the tyres of patrol cars with.

Elsewhere in Barcelona protesters threw toilet rolls at officers to show ‘there was a lot of s*** to clean.’

The third night of violence flared around 9pm local time after pro-independence supporters marched on the Catalan regional government’s Interior Ministry HQ. 

Hoodie-wearing protesters were blamed for more than 200 blazes on Tuesday, said to have cost more than £300,000 to clean up. Several cars are also reported to have been gutted.

Caretaker PM Pedro Sanchez is facing demands from political rivals to impose direct rule over Catalonia ahead of general elections next month.

On Tuesday night around 30 people were arrested during clashes in several Catalan cities including Barcelona, Lleida and Tarragona.

The violence followed the regional Catalan government’s admission it ’empathised’ with Monday’s blockade of Barcelona’s El Prat airport, which led to more than 100 flights being cancelled the day of the protests and another 45 on Tuesday.

Holidaymakers and flight crews had to abandon cars and taxis and walk to the airport to try to catch their planes on time.

Catalan anti-riot police officers stand close to a burning barricade during a demonstration tonight, with residents warned to stay away from Barcelona's city centre

Catalan anti-riot police officers stand close to a burning barricade during a demonstration tonight, with residents warned to stay away from Barcelona’s city centre

A person extinguishes a burning car during the latest bad-tempered night of protests in the Catalonia region following Monday's ruling

A person extinguishes a burning car during the latest bad-tempered night of protests in the Catalonia region following Monday’s ruling

Several protest marches called 'Marches for Freedom' are running from the five Catalan cities of Girona, Vic, Berga, Tarrega and Tarragona

Several protest marches called ‘Marches for Freedom’ are running from the five Catalan cities of Girona, Vic, Berga, Tarrega and Tarragona

Catalan anti-riot police officers pull a melted skip used as a barricade by protesters during a demonstration in Barcelona on Wednesday night

Catalan anti-riot police officers pull a melted skip used as a barricade by protesters during a demonstration in Barcelona on Wednesday night

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators throw paper toilet rolls into the air during a protest in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators throw paper toilet rolls into the air during a protest in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday

Clashes erupted in Barcelona late today after thousands rallied for a huge protest in the city centre on Wednesday night

Clashes erupted in Barcelona late today after thousands rallied for a huge protest in the city centre on Wednesday night

Spanish national police members during a protest against the Spanish Supreme Court's ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

Spanish national police members during a protest against the Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

Catalan anti-riot police officers walk past a burning barricade during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona on October 16

Catalan anti-riot police officers walk past a burning barricade during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona on October 16

Catalan anti-riot police officers move forward towards protesters during a violent demonstration in Barcelona last night

Catalan anti-riot police officers move forward towards protesters during a violent demonstration in Barcelona last night

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic was among those travellers pictured leaving the airport on foot after the taxi rank outside terminal one was taken over by protesters who clashed with riot police on Monday evening.

Catalan regional government spokesman Meritxell Budo said it ‘understood the rage’ people felt over the jailing of political and civic leaders behind a failed 2017 independence referendum, adding: ‘We demonstrate our empathy with pacific and decisive actions like the collapse of El Prat.’

Some of the current crop of pro-independence leaders now in charge of Catalonia have since sought to distance themselves from the violent gangs that have tried to take the lead in the last 48 hours.

Nine of the 12 political and civil leaders tried earlier this year over a failed 2017 independence referendum were handed prison sentences on Monday by Spain’s Supreme Court, sparking the unrest the troublesome region is now caught up in.

Former Catalan Vice-President Oriol Junqueras was sentenced to 13 years in prison for sedition and misuse of public funds.

Three other former Catalan government ministers, Raul Romeva, Jordi Turull and Dolors Bassa, were jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of the same charges.

Violent clashes erupted in Barcelona late on Wednesday night after thousands rallied for a huge protest in the city centre

Violent clashes erupted in Barcelona late on Wednesday night after thousands rallied for a huge protest in the city centre

Protesters knock-over a container during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona on October 16

Protesters knock-over a container during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona on October 16

Spanish national police members guard a street during a protest against the Spanish Supreme Court's ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

Spanish national police members guard a street during a protest against the Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

Masked protesters make barricades during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona on October 16

Masked protesters make barricades during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona on October 16

Barcelona Football Club criticised the sentences after they were made public, saying in a statement: ‘The resolution of the conflict in Catalonia must come exclusively from political dialogue.

‘Therefore, now more than ever, the club asks all political leaders to lead a process of dialogue and negotiation to resolve this conflict, which should also allow for the release of convicted civic and political leaders.

‘FC Barcelona also expresses all its support and solidarity to the families of those who are deprived of their freedom.’

Oriol Junqueras said in an audio message from prison: ‘This is not justice but revenge.’

Spain’s caretaker PM Pedro Sanchez welcomed the verdict, saying: ‘It brings an exemplary legal process to an end and confirms the failure of a political process. It has only left pain in its wake.’

Man City boss Pep Guardiola also attacked the prison sentences as a human rights attack.

Policemen run as a police van drives over a burning barricade during clashes between protesters and police in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday

Policemen run as a police van drives over a burning barricade during clashes between protesters and police in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday

Spain's government said Wednesday it would do whatever it takes to stamp out violence in Catalonia, where clashes between regional independence supporters and police have injured more than 200 people in two days

Spain’s government said Wednesday it would do whatever it takes to stamp out violence in Catalonia, where clashes between regional independence supporters and police have injured more than 200 people in two days

Barcelona firefighters put out fires during another night of bad-tempered, violent protests in the city on Wednesday, October 16

Barcelona firefighters put out fires during another night of bad-tempered, violent protests in the city on Wednesday, October 16

A car catches fire next to a burning barricade during clashes between protesters and police in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday

A car catches fire next to a burning barricade during clashes between protesters and police in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday

Protesters make barricades in the street during violent clashes with police in Barcelona, Spain late on Wednesday night

Protesters make barricades in the street during violent clashes with police in Barcelona, Spain late on Wednesday night

He was slapped down by tough-talking MP Ines Arrimadas who criticised him for ‘slandering Spain’ but staying silent about Qatar where the right to hold power is passed on within the ruling Al Thani family and alcohol consumption is punished by flogging.

Guardiola spent two seasons playing in Qatar towards the end of his career as a midfielder.

Arrimadas, a leading light in anti-independence party Ciudadanos, raged: ‘I used to admire Guardiola as a player and a manager but I have to condemn his lies as a ‘politician.’

‘Very brave to slander Spain but not a word about Qatar where he made a fortune. In our democracy every ideology has a place but not breaking the law. It is not dissidence, it’s sedition.’

Foreign tourists took to social media to voice their concern about what is happening in Barcelona.

One said: ‘Serious question. In Spain on holiday with family and we are seriously considering cancelling our weekend in Barcelona.’

Another added: ‘I was thinking about my holidays and spending a few days in Barcelona. Now I’m not going. I am afraid and scared.’

Caitlin Fitzpatrick wrote on social media after last night’s/Tuesday night’s violence: ‘Happy f££king birthday to me. Barcelona is in lockdown outside our hotel with thousands of people rioting and we aren’t allowed to leave.’

A ladder is thrown against police by protesters during violent clashes in Barcelona last night, marking a third night of chaos

A ladder is thrown against police by protesters during violent clashes in Barcelona last night, marking a third night of chaos

Catalan anti-riot police officers stand guard as barricades burn during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona on October 16

Catalan anti-riot police officers stand guard as barricades burn during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR) in Barcelona on October 16

A police van removes a barricade during a demonstration in Barcelona last night, as violent clashes in the city continued

A police van removes a barricade during a demonstration in Barcelona last night, as violent clashes in the city continued

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made a direct appeal to the Catalan president to condemn the violence, as the clashes between protesters and police continued

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made a direct appeal to the Catalan president to condemn the violence, as the clashes between protesters and police continued

Spanish national police vans wait at a burning barricade during a protest against the Spanish Supreme Court's ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

Spanish national police vans wait at a burning barricade during a protest against the Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling of multiple jail terms for pro-independence leaders, in Barcelona

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators throw toilet paper rolls into the air during a protest in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators throw toilet paper rolls into the air during a protest in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday

She added in a second tweet overnight: ‘Why doesn’t anyone know about what we are actually up against in Barcelona.

‘The whole city is in shutdown and even our insurance or holiday provider didn’t know about it.’

Matt Currien, from Wolverhampton, caught in a motorway blockade as he tried to get to his hotel, posted footage of him stuck in the jam, and said: ‘They’re blocking a major motorway and people don’t seem to be disagreeing with them. The police don’t seem to be doing a lot either.

‘I presume it’s a major motorway. It’s a bit strange. They’re doing it for their reasons so fair play. I’m sure my all-inclusive hotel will wait for me till tomorrow because by the looks of this we’re not moving anywhere just yet.’

A Barcelona-born woman called Carlota, who was out of the city when the violence flared, said: ‘The videos and messages I’m getting from all my friends back home in Barcelona is actually scary, the city is a war zone. My friends nearly got attacked by the police just walking home from a restaurant, all the streets are on fire. It’s gone mad.

She later posted footage of one of the bonfires protesters lit using wheelie bins to block a main road, showing police sirens in the background and masked men near the flames and billowing black smoke and tweeted the message: ‘Barcelona is on fire.’