The Perthus (France) (AFP)

Catalan separatists who blocked Monday the A9 motorway between France and Spain were dislodged Tuesday by the police and traffic should resume in the afternoon, according to the prefecture of Pyrénées-Orientales.

"There are no more protesters on the highway, the employees are busy securing the traffic lanes after the damage, it is going pretty well, the highway should be reopened during the day," he said. AFP a spokesman for the prefecture.

Tuesday at 07:30, a joint operation of the French Gendarmerie and the Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra, had been launched to restore traffic on this busy axis and vital for trade. 3 to 5,000 trucks cross this border every day.

The two directions of traffic on the A9 being blocked, the mobilization causes disturbances on the secondary road network. On Monday evening, the closure of the motorway was extended French side to Narbonne (about 90 km from the border).

Hundreds of Catalan separatists had planned to continue blocking the highway Tuesday and Wednesday.

Protesters retreated to La Jonquère, a town in Spanish Catalonia near the border, where they blocked the N-II highway.

The platform "Democratic Tsunami" and Committees of Defense of the Republic (CDR), formed by groups of radical separatists, are at the origin of the mobilization, triggered the day after the legislative elections in Spain.

This blockade is a new protest against the conviction in mid-October of nine Catalan independence leaders to heavy prison terms for their role in the secession attempt of 2017.

© 2019 AFP