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The Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra police have identified a group of fourteen people who, organised like a paramilitary squad, have created maps and coordinated plans to remove yellow ribbons - the symbol of support for the imprisoned and exiled Catalan politicians - from several towns in the Ebre river region of southern Catalonia. The group was identified by the Mossos in the small hours of Friday morning and, according to Catalan public broadcaster TV3, one of those identified is a member of the Civil Guard, Spain's paramilitary security force. The maps that have been shared via social media, show the planning of the ribbon-cutting routes and demonstrate the existence of coordinated groups.

Blackberry|Moor|Delay Map yellow bows

Plànol Tvissa yellow bow

Plànol Vandellos yellow bows

Some witnesses assert that group members covered their faces and were equipped with knives and saws. In these actions, the elements targeted for removal or destruction (banners calling for freedom of the Catalan political prisoners, bows and other yellow elements) were in both public and private locations.

Local residents informed the Mossos of the action that was underway late on Thursday night, and the Catalan police then located a first car in the town of Móra la Nova, around 3am on Friday, with four people inside, who were identified. Several cutting tools were confiscated, including cutter knives installed on extension poles, and the maps that marked the route to be followed. Ironically, the detailed plans enabled the Mossos to stop two more cars in Tivissa and to identify their occupants as well.

In total, fourteen people were identified and the Mossos have opened an investigation into the case.