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The Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalan police, have this Wednesday examined a number of suspicious packages found outside notable buildings around Barcelona: the headquarters of pro-independence organisations Òmnium and ANC, pro-independence parties ERC and CUP, left-wing party Podem and the Interior Ministry. Police sources say none of them contained explosive devices.

Barcelona's carrer Diputació was cordoned off until around 9am between Pau Claris and Roger de Llúria - the block containing Òmnium's headquarters. According to sources from within the organisation, the suspicious package appeared outside early this morning, and the Mossos had activated their normal protocols for such cases.

Shortly before nine in the morning, Mossos bomb disposal experts examined and removed the package found outside Òmnium. It consisted of a plastic jerrycan filled with a green liquid. The road was then reopened to traffic.

This all comes two days after police raids around Barcelona province ended in the arrest of nine pro-independence activists on charges including terrorism, rebellion and possession of explosives. Two of them have since been released; the others are being held in Madrid pending court appearances.

Six packages

Roughly the same events were repeated at five other locations around Barcelona: at ERC's headquarters on carrer Calàbria, at ANC's building on carrer de la Marina, at CUP's headquarters on carrer de Casp, at Podem's Catalonia headquarters on carrer de Sardenya and outside the Catalan Interior Ministry. All the packages appeared to be of the same design. CUP party sources say that Urban Guard agents removed the jerrycan found outside their building, without even alerting the Mossos d'Esquadra.

Glued to the outside of the jerrycans were white masks with the mouths taped over and Spanish flags painted on their foreheads. They also had stickers at the top with a picture of an anti-riot police officer and text reading: "What republic? What are you on about? The republic doesn't exist! Idiot!"

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