Supporters of Catalonia’s independence from Spain have joined hands to form a 400km (250-mile) human chain across the region in support of their cause.
Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the event, which comes on Catalonia’s national day. Regional President Artur Mas has been urging Madrid to allow the region a referendum on independence in 2014.
Lines of protesters, many wearing the red-and-yellow Catalan flag, stretched from the French border, through the city of Barcelona and south along the coast towards the regional border with Valencia.
Carme Forcadell, president of the Catalan National Assembly which organised the human chain, called the event « historic ». « The Catalan people have reaffirmed their determination to be a free state, » she said.
The BBC’s correspondent in Barcelona, Tom Burridge, said the human chain was another strong show of popular support in Catalonia for the idea of a vote on independence.