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Police, protesters clash outside Barcelona-Real Madrid game
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Riot police clashed with protesters in the streets Wednesday night outside a soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, as authorities sought to keep Catalonia's separatist movement from disrupting the game viewed by 650 million people worldwide.
The match in Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium began without incident and was halted only briefly when some fans threw balls onto the field bearing a message for the Spanish government to open a dialogue with the separatists.
The game, which drew nearly 100,000 spectators, ended in a scoreless draw.
Thousands of police and private security guards were deployed in and around stadium.
In the street clashes, riot police used batons to force the crowd back, some threw objects at officers lined up behind shields and other protesters fought among themselves. Authorities said nine people had been arrested, and Spain's national news agency Efe reported that 12 were injured.
At least four plastic trash cans were set on fire, and a smell of smoke wafted into the Camp Nou.
When the game ended, fans were directed to leave on the stadium's south side to avoid the clashes outside.
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