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Roads blocked in Catalonia to protest leader’s detention

MADRID — Demonstrators angered by the detention of former leader Carles Puigdemont blocked highways across Catalonia and roads in central Barcelona on Tuesday, as the separatist politician remained in a German jail pending a decision on Spain’s extradition request.

Transportation authorities in the northeastern Spanish region said a main motorway remained blocked in Figueres, near the border with France. Demonstrators also stopped traffic in another highway leading to the city of Lleida, and a national road between Tarragona and Valencia.

Protesters also caused disruptions early Tuesday on several roads in Barcelona.

Catalonia has been marred by largely peaceful protests for more than six months, since a bid for secession from Spain began in earnest. The Catalan Parliament’s declaration of independence in late October following an ad-hoc referendum that was banned by the Spanish government received no international recognition and provoked a takeover of the regional government by Spanish authorities.

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Puigdemont was ousted and fled to Belgium. Last week, a Spanish judge charged the 55-year-old politician with rebellion and misuse of public funds.

ASSOCIATED PRESS