Barcelona in flames after fifth day of rioting

Hundreds of protesters battled police in the heart of Barcelona on Friday, setting up fiery barricades and hurling rocks at security forces on the fifth day of unrest following the jailing of Catalan separatist leaders.

The violence followed a largely peaceful demonstration which drew more than half a million people onto the streets of the Catalan capital to denounce the lengthy jail terms that have sent a shockwave through Spanish politics.

As night fell, masked youths blocked a broad boulevard close to the city’s police headquarters, setting fire to large garbage bins and throwing a hail of stones, cans and bottles toward massed lines of security forces in full riot gear.