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Catalan separatist leaders accused of sedition amid protests

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Demonstrators against independence light flares in Barcelona last night. Photo: Luis Genelluis/Getty Images

Demonstrators against independence light flares in Barcelona last night. Photo: Luis Genelluis/Getty Images

Demonstrators against independence light flares in Barcelona last night. Photo: Luis Genelluis/Getty Images

The Spanish attorney general's office yesterday pushed for charges against leaders of Barcelona protests that saw Guardia Civil vehicles vandalised and agents surrounded during a night of tension over the arrests of Catalan officials.

The Spanish national court was asked to investigate alleged sedition amid protests that broke out across the city during a sweeping round of raids targeting pro-independence leaders on Wednesday. The crime carries a charge of up to 15 years in prison.

As protests continued to grip Barcelona, with demonstrators occupying the city's university rectory yesterday, the attorney of the national court accused protesters of knowingly breaking the law in their bid to hold a banned independence referendum on October 1.

At least 40,000 demonstrators descended on the Catalan department of economy as it was raided, blocking agents inside from leaving for up to nine hours.

The 11-page complaint singled out the Catalan National Assembly and Omnium Cultural.

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