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Barcelona protester loses an eye to rubber bullet during police clash

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Barcelona protester loses an eye to rubber bullet during police clash
Police clashed with protesters at El Prat airport. Photo: AFP
12:08 CEST+02:00
A 22-year-old man has lost his eye after being hit by a rubber bullet fired by police during protests in Catalonia.

The young man, who has not been named, underwent emergency surgery at Barcelona’s Bellvitge Hospital on Monday evening after he was injured when police fired rubber bullets to control a crowd of protestors at El Prat airport.

Hospital sources told local media that the man suffered a “burst eyeball” in a wound “consistent with a rubber bullet”.


An injured man is wheeled away by medics after being hit in the eye. Photo: AFP

More than 100 people were treated by emergency services after clashes between police and protestors who were mobilized via social media in anger at the verdict against Catalan separatist leaders.

Health authorities said six people had been injured apparently by rubber bullets fired by police during clashes at Barcelona airport.

In 2014 a ban on the use of rubber bullets as an anti-riot weapon was imposed on the Catalan police force, Mossos d'Esquadra, following a high profile campaign led by victims who had lost vision.

Campaigners called into question the use of the weapon, which by law should not be fired from a distance of less than 50 metres or hit above the knee.

But the National Police force used rubber bullets to disperse crowds at the airport on Monday night, in a move which will further inflame tensions in the region.

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