CATALAN separatists have clashed with riot police in Barcelona with the region on high alert over fears of more violence.
Officers dragged masked protesters from roads on Friday as Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez held crunch talks in the Catalan capital on the independence crisis. Demonstrators wearing high-viz vests sat on the AP7 highway, which runs the length of Spain’s Mediterranean coast, in protest at Mr Sanchez's meeting. Roads were also piled with tyres, with around 40 routes blocked.
Demonstrators hurled smoke bombs at Catalan Mossos police with one thug shown attacking a police van with a steel pole.
Another masked yob was photographed preparing to launch a missile towards police lines.
Catalan independence group Defense Comittee of the Republic (CDR) erected burning barricades along the main road into Tarragona ahead of Mr Sanchez's meeting.
More than 9,000 police officers are on duty across the region as authorities brace themselves for disorder.
According to Catalan police, at least seven arrests had been made after protesters attacked officers.
Lines of baton-wielding police could be seen facing up to independence supporters, many of them waving the red and yellow Catalan flag.
National police are being deployed in Barcelona to protect the cabinet meeting, with radicals pelting officers with objects as barricades were dismantled.
Many businesses in the region have cancelled plans for the day with staff allowed to work from home.