06:43 GMT +313 December 2017
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    Spanish police officers immobilize some people outside a polling station in Barcelona, on October 1, 2017, on the day of a referendum on independence for Catalonia banned by Madrid

    Madrid Rep. in Catalonia Apologizes for Police Violence During Independence Vote

    © AFP 2017/ PAU BARRENA
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    Enric Millo, the Spanish government's official representative in Catalonia, apologized for police violence during the Catalonian referendum last week.

    "When I saw these imagines and when I learned that some people were hit or pushed, including one person who is still hospitalized, I can only regret it and apologize on behalf of the officers that intervened," Millo told the TV3 channel.

    It was the first apology by a Madrid government official over the clashes and could be seen as a conciliatory gesture to Catalan leaders who plan a unilateral declaration of independence of the region from Spain.

    Spain's autonomous region is locked in a standoff with Madrid, which does not recognize the independence referendum held in Catalonia on Sunday. According to the Catalan authorities, slightly more than 2 million people out of 5.3 million of those eligible to vote cast their ballots, and 90 percent of them backed independence. Almost 900 people had to seek medical help because of the clashes between referendum supporters and the police on the day of the vote.

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    independence referendum, Enric Millo, Catalonia, Madrid
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