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Tens of thousands form 124-mile line to demand Basque secession ballot

Protesters held hands or extended scarves between themselves to form the human chain.

Tens of thousands of people from the northern Basque Country have formed a line that stretched over 124 miles to demand a ballot on secession from Spain.

Protesters held hands or extended scarves between themselves to form the human chain, which connected the cities of San Sebastian, Bilbao and regional capital Vitoria.

The scarves bore the slogan “It’s in our hands” written in Basque.

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People held hands across the Basque country (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

Organisers say 175,000 people participated, including Basque and Catalan pro-secession politicians and activists. Basque police did not give an official count.

The demonstration took place just over a month since Basque militant group Eta announced its dissolution.

Spain has refused to allow an official referendum on secession by the Catalonia region, whose leaders tried and failed to declare independence last year.

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