Police evict squatters from Barcelona buildings

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Riot police on Thursday evicted a group of squatters from two buildings in Barcelona that had been occupied for several years, following a court order in a case that has triggered significant attention in Spain.

In the raid, that started before dawn, police officers approached the adjacent buildings walking inside a metal cage to protect themselves from rocks, smoke guns and fire flares thrown by the squatters.

Officers cut the gates to eventually enter the buildings and remove its occupants, including one person who was hanging on a cord along the facade of one of the buildings. Seven people were arrested.

The buildings are located in a wealthy Barcelona neighbourhood. Their occupation was put in the spotlight by conservative and far-right parties to question the city’s safety in the run-up to a local election earlier this year.

(Reporting by Albert Gea, Joan Faus and Jesus Aguado; Writing by Joan Faus; Editing by Christina Fincher)