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Angry crowds hurled projectiles at police in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday as hundreds of protesters gathered in the streets to demonstrate against the new Covid-19 state of emergency.

The protests follow a decision by Catalan lawmakers to close the region’s borders for 15 days and shut shops, except for food stores, in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus in its rising second wave.

Police warned the public “not to approach” Plaça Sant Jaume, a square in the city’s Gothic Quarter, where violent clashes saw officers in riot gear wield batons and fire rubber bullets to disperse the public.

The square was a focal point for some 1,500 protesters, some of whom were armed with smoke canisters and firecrackers, according to police.

At least two people have been arrested, local media reported.

In one video posted on social media, a protester can be seen hurling a barrier at a line of police, before dozens of officers then march into the square, some using batons to beat people who are lying on the ground. 

Grandes motins na Plaza Sant Jaume em #Barcelona por um grupo de manifestantes contra as restrições gritando “liberdade”Atirando foguetes, sinalizadores, garrafas, outdoors e outros objetos na linha policial. pic.twitter.com/n1XbjnM1qF

Barcelona. Plaza de Sant Jaume.La situación está fuera de control.Arrojan vallas, piedras, y fuegos artificiales contra la línea policial de los Mossos. pic.twitter.com/n6qZyo29Ak

Another showed Barcelona police vans driving down a street while protesters pelted them with projectiles.

🔴 ÚLTIMA HORA | Espectaculars disturbis contra els @mossos. Quasi atropellen a un manifestant, finalment ha quedat ilés al terra.📸: @DavidMelero16https://t.co/kdE4YCEGeIpic.twitter.com/nlgibVis8k

Other footage appeared to show groups of people chanting “freedom” in Plaça Sant Jaume as police with riot shields marched towards a cloud of blue smoke. 

Cargas de Mossos en la Plaza Sant Jaume de Barcelona contra manifestantes que protestaban contra el toque de queda y contra las restricciones. Lanzamiento de vallas, piedras y todo tipo de objetos a los Mossos al grito de “libertad”. Contenedores quemados por las calles aledañas. pic.twitter.com/BVt9afwr4w

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