MADRID – Spain's Interior Ministry says it is withdrawing thousands of police reinforcements who were deployed to its northeastern region of Catalonia in the run-up to an attempted referendum on the region's independence in October.
Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said late Tuesday the estimated 5,000 reinforcements are no longer necessary following the return to normalcy after Spain seized control of the restive region following a declaration of independence by the Catalan parliament weeks after the referendum.
Spain was criticized over police using force to try to prevent the referendum from taking place. Hundreds of people, including police, were reported injured.
Spain later dismissed the Catalan government, dissolved the regional parliament and ordered fresh elections for Dec. 21 to quell the secession push and restore legality.