TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Angry crowds hurled projectiles at police in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday as hundreds of protesters gathered in the streets to demonstrate against the new COVID-19 state of emergency.

– World news –

The protests follow a decision by Catalan lawmakers to close the region’s borders for 15 days and shut shops, except for food stores, in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus in its rising second wave, RT reported.

Police warned the public “not to approach” Plaça Sant Jaume, a square in the city’s Gothic Quarter, where violent clashes saw officers in riot gear wield batons and fire rubber bullets to disperse the public.

The square was a focal point for some 1,500 protesters, some of whom were armed with smoke canisters and firecrackers, according to police.

At least two people have been arrested, local media reported.

In one video posted on social media, a protester can be seen hurling a barrier at a line of police, before dozens of officers then march into the square, some using batons to beat people who are lying on the ground.

Another showed Barcelona police vans driving down a street while protesters pelted them with projectiles.

Other footage appeared to show groups of people chanting “freedom” in Plaça Sant Jaume as police with riot shields marched towards a cloud of blue smoke.