7 Catalans Jailed as Judge Opens Probe on Terrorism Charges

People roll out a giant “estelada” or independence flag on top of a building during the Saint Merce celebrations in San Jaume square in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday. The tradition of building human towers or “castells” dates back to the 18th century and takes place during festivals in Catalonia, where “colles” or teams compete to build the tallest and most complicated towers. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s National Court says a judge is sending to jail seven Catalan independence supporters who were arrested this week for allegedly planning violent acts, possibly with explosives.

A court statement says an investigating judge has found signs that the seven could be part of an organization that intends to use “any means, including violent ones” to establish an independent republic in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia.

It says the seven face possible charges of being part of a terrorist organization, explosive manufacturing and possession and conspiring to wreak havoc.

Rising separatist sentiment in Catalonia peaked at the end of 2017 with a banned referendum. A dozen politicians and activists are in jail, awaiting a sentence related to that vote.

The mainstream Catalan independence movement has been overwhelmingly peaceful.

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