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Hundreds of motorists blocked by Catalan separatists

Hundreds of car and truck drivers are stuck in a large traffic jam in northeastern Spain caused by Catalan separatists blocking a major highway near the city of Girona.

The protesters began gathering on the AP-7 highway Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning had built several large barricades out of tree limbs and the road's metal guard rails. Some were set on fire.

Police vans arrived at the site after several hours.

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators warm themselves on a fire as they spend the night blocking a major highway near Girona, Spain, Wednesday, Nov.13, 2019. French police detained 18 pro-Catalan independence protesters Tuesday and used pepper spray and batons to push back demonstrators who blocked a major highway border crossing between France and Spain for more than 24 hours. (AP PhotoEmilio Morenatti)

The protesters are angered by the recent imprisonment of nine pro-independence politicians and activists.

French police detained 18 Catalan protesters Tuesday who had blocked a major border crossing between Spain and France for several hours.

The protests follow Sunday's national election in Spain.

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators warm themselves on a fire as they spend the night blocking a major highway near Girona, Spain, Wednesday, Nov.13, 2019. French police detained 18 pro-Catalan independence protesters Tuesday and used pepper spray and batons to push back demonstrators who blocked a major highway border crossing between France and Spain for more than 24 hours. (AP PhotoEmilio Morenatti)

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators warm themselves on a fire as they spend the night blocking a major highway near Girona, Spain, Wednesday, Nov.13, 2019. French police detained 18 pro-Catalan independence protesters Tuesday and used pepper spray and batons to push back demonstrators who blocked a major highway border crossing between France and Spain for more than 24 hours. (AP PhotoEmilio Morenatti)

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators spend the night blocking a major highway near Girona, Spain, Wednesday, Nov.13, 2019. French police detained 18 pro-Catalan independence protesters Tuesday and used pepper spray and batons to push back demonstrators who blocked a major highway border crossing between France and Spain for more than 24 hours. (AP PhotoJoan Mateu)

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators warm themselves on a fire as they block a major highway near Girona, Spain, Wednesday, Nov.13, 2019. French police detained 18 pro-Catalan independence protesters Tuesday and used pepper spray and batons to push back demonstrators who blocked a major highway border crossing between France and Spain for more than 24 hours. (AP PhotoEmilio Morenatti)