Supporters of Catalan independence have begun occupying polling stations in a bid to protect Sunday’s vote from a crackdown by the Spanish government.
The vice-president of Spain’s secessionist north-eastern region warned that backers of Catalonia’s independence would cast their ballots even if national police “took voting stations by assault”.
Politicians in Catalonia have insisted the referendum will go ahead, despite Madrid attempting to shut down what they said was an illegal poll.
Catalan authorities said the majority of eligible voters were expected to take part, and they would declare independence within 48 hours after announcing the vote's results, if the yes side wins.
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