Spanish police arrest 7 in connection with Catalan secession

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Spanish authorities have detained seven people in Catalonia as part of a crackdown on disturbances associated with the region's attempts to secede from Spain.

Spanish news agency Europa Press says the Catalan police force Mossos d'Esquadra has detained six people on suspicion of public disorder offenses during tense protests outside the region's parliament in January. A large crowd gathered outside when lawmakers attempted to elect Carles Puigdemont, a pro-independence leader who is now a fugitive, as Catalan president.

The Guardia Civil says it arrested Tuesday a woman believed to be a leader of Catalonia's so-called Committees for the Defense of the Republic — a grassroots group that organizes protests. Those groups have been behind the blocking of road and train lines in Catalonia to press their demand for independence.