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    A man places an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) on a stick during a protest outside the High Court of Justice of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, September 21, 2017

    Pics or It Didn't Happen: Fake Photos of Catalonia-Bound Troops Flood Web

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    Catalonia's Independence Referendum (118)

    A bevy of fake photographs and video of military equipment, allegedly sent by Spanish authorities to Catalonia, which continues to push for a October 1 independence referendum, appeared in social networks in recent days.

    A video posted on September 22 showed a train loaded with heavy armored vehicles running on rails, with a voice-over saying in Catalan that the footage had allegedly been filmed at the Lleida railway station in Catalonia the night before, RIA Novosti reported.

    In fact, the original video was posted by another user in May, 2014. The signature indicates that the footage showed military hardware being transported from the El Goloso military base near Madrid to the National Center for Military Training in San Gregorio, Zaragoza.

    In addition, over the past few days, a photo has circulated in social networks showing military equipment also being allegedly delivered to Catalonia.

    The same photo was posted on the page of one of the users on Twitter on August 18, namely, the day after the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, which claimed the lives of at least 14 people.

    Earlier this week, the Spanish Defense Ministry filed a complaint in court alleging forgery and the distribution on the social networks of the pages of its official bulletin.

    The falsified document cites a "preliminary order for activation" due to the alleged deployment of army units to Catalonia, as well as the mobilization of personnel currently in place.

    The Spanish Defense Ministry specifically drew attention to the fact that terminology and abbreviations used in the counterfeit document are not used by the Ministry and the armed forces.

    On Friday, the Spanish Interior Ministry said it will send additional forces to Catalonia to monitor the situation in the region due to the October 1 referendum on independence, which was rejected by Madrid and suspended by the country's Constitutional Court.

    According to Spanish media, up to 5,000 police officers are due to be sent to Catalonia.

    Earlier, Spain's Civil Guard held over 40 search operations related to preparations for the independence vote and detained more than 10 people. The searches were held in a number of government institutions, including Catalonia's government.

    On September 6, Catalonia’s Parliament passed a bill enabling an independence referendum to be held on October 1. The Spanish government called the bill illegal and challenged it in the nation's Constitutional Court.

    The next day, the Constitutional Court accepted the lawsuit for review, thus suspending the Catalan law on the referendum.

    Catalonia's Independence Referendum (118)


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