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The Civil Guard has this Monday arrested nine independence supporters, accused of allegedly planning violent actions. Police sources have told Europa Press they are eight men and one women, all between 35 and 50 years old. The operation, carried out by Spain's gendarmerie was ordered by central court number six of the National Audience; at the time of writing, five of those arrested are already being taken to Madrid. Court sources say they are accused of terrorism and rebellion.

Guàrdia Civil Audiència Nacional CDR Sabadell   ACN

Officer guarding building on sealed-off street in Sabadell / Photo: ACN

The arrests took place in a number of towns and villages near Barcelona: Sabadell (4), Mollet del Vallès (1), Santa Perpètua de Mogoda (1), Cerdanyola (1) and Sant Fost de Campsentelles (1). The other arrest took place further north in Sant Pere de Torelló. Ràdio Sabadell says the operation is "allegedly related to the Anarchist House" in the centre of the city. A Civil Guard helicopter was seen flying over the area and roads were closed.

Translation: "BREAKING | An operation by the Civil Guard is currently blocking off carrer Convent between carrer Sant Honorat and plaça de les Dones del Tèxtil. Radio Sabadell has learnt there are apparently arrests"

The Spanish interior ministry has said ten searches have been carried out and that police have found "precursor substances for the preparation of explosives, awaiting confirmation from specialists". They have also seized "computing material and documentation", as well as a ballot box from the 2017 independence referendum. They believe those arrested were preparing violent actions for the anniversary of the referendum and the upcoming announcement of the sentences against pro-independence leaders.

Translation: "The Civil Guard arrests 9 people related with Catalan independence movements who could be prepared to carry out violent actions"

Spanish interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told RNE that more arrests and searches are possible. He also confirmed those arrested are accused of terrorism.

Court sources say they are all members of a local CDR group (Committee for Defence of the Republic) and had the "capacity to commit violent acts". The investigation started over a year ago. They will all appear in the National Audience in Madrid in the coming days.

Different CDR groups have organised dozens of protests around Catalonia this evening following today's arrests and searches.